Lessons from the Communist Party USA

Jonas Liston argues we can learn important lessons from the legacy of the Communist Party USA’s anti-racism work in the 1930s:

Taken away from any abstractions, and taking into account how much sharper racism in the USA is, the lessons revolutionaries in Britain should take from the Communist Party of America are clear. Marxist politics and the anti-racism that should stem from them should be avidly fought for amongst the hearts and minds of the oppressed and the exploited. Our ability to understand the interrelationship between racism, the state and violence, such as that evidenced with the racist murders of Sean Rigg, Smiley Culture and Jimmy Mubenga, gives us a clear lead that we should take advantage of.

The necessity of defence campaigns is something the left has often understood, as the CPUSA did with the Scottsboro Boys, it is something that must be pursued further and vehicles such as Defend the Right to Protest, which constantly relates, say the murder of Mark Duggan to the police violence exerted against workers at Orgreave, or the battening down and arrest of Alfie Meadows, are key to linking struggles and opening up the possibilities for revolutionaries to sink deeper roots in both anti-racist and industrial struggles.

Read “Black Bolsheviks: Lessons from the Communist Party USA” here.


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