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21 September 2018

Class-Struggle Defense Notes

As an expression of solidarity, for over 30 years the Partisan Defense Committee has provided monthly stipends to dozens of class-war prisoners—those who have been imprisoned for standing up to racist capitalist repression or imperialist depredation and whose freedom is in the interest of the entire working class. For more information about the PDC and how to correspond with the class-war prisoners see www.partisandefense.org.

MOVE’s Ramona Africa Gravely Ill

Ramona Africa, the sole adult survivor of the 13 May 1985 cop/FBI bombing of the mostly black MOVE commune’s Osage Avenue home, is in a dire medical situation. Ramona spent seven years in prison hell after the government’s racist assault in which eleven men, women and children were incinerated to death, and was one of the PDC’s first class-war prisoner stipend recipients. In June, Ramona was hospitalized due to complications from post-traumatic stress disorder. A serious stroke left her unable to walk, and she was subsequently diagnosed with lymphoma. To offset the exorbitant medical costs, the MOVE organization has set up a Go Fund Me page. The PDC has contributed funds to Ramona’s care and urges WV readers to do so. For more information and to make a donation see: gofundme.com/helpsaveramonaafrica. (read more...)

7 September 2018

Protesting Hellish Conditions

Support Prisoners Strike!

SEPTEMBER 2—For the last two weeks, prisoners across the country have courageously carried out work stoppages, hunger strikes and commissary boycotts to protest their unspeakable conditions—brutalization by prison guards, massive overcrowding and exploitation as virtual slave labor. Protests have occurred in at least eleven states, and organizers report that prisoners in six more states have pledged to join. At the federal immigrant detention center in Tacoma, Washington, some 200 detainees went on hunger strike to demand the closure of I.C.E. detention centers and to show solidarity with the prison protests. The British Guardian (31 August) reported that prison strike organizers have been met with “swift and vicious reprisals,” thrown into solitary, stripped of communication privileges and transferred to distant prisons. (read more...)

27 July 2018

Attack on MOVE 1978

We Will Not Forget!

August 8 marks the 40th anniversary of the vicious cop assault on MOVE in Philadelphia’s Powelton Village neighborhood. A mostly black commune advocating the right to armed self-defense, MOVE had been under a months-long police siege when an army of 600 cops assaulted their home and fired thousands of rounds of ammunition. After MOVE members and their children surrendered, police publicly beat, dragged, kicked and stomped a shirtless Delbert Africa nearly to death. A cop was killed in the ferocious police crossfire, and nine MOVE members were framed up and imprisoned on bogus murder charges. A number of witnesses testified that no gunshots came from the MOVE house. Three months prior to the attack the police had removed from the house all weapons, which were found to be inoperable. (read more...)

29 June 2018

Free All the MOVE Prisoners!

Debbie Africa Paroled

(Class-Struggle Defense Notes)

On June 16, MOVE member Debbie Sims Africa was released on parole from Pennsylvania’s State Correctional Institution Cambridge Springs. She is the first of the MOVE 9 to be released after they were incarcerated in 1978, sentenced to terms of 30 to 100 years for the killing of a Philadelphia police officer during the 1978 cop siege of MOVE’s Powelton Village home. Two other MOVE prisoners, Janine and Janet Africa, were up for parole with Debbie, but were denied. “I am happy to finally be home with my family,” said Debbie, “but Janet, Janine and the rest of the MOVE 9 are still in prison, in the same situation that I was in and they deserve parole too.” For the immediate, unconditional release of all the MOVE prisoners! (read more...)

29 June 2018

LAPD Targets Grieving Aunt, BLM Activist

Hands Off Sheila Hines-Brim and Melina Abdullah!

LOS ANGELES—“That’s Wakiesha!” With these words, Sheila Hines-Brim threw the ashes of her niece, Wakiesha Wilson, who died in police custody, at LAPD chief Charlie Beck at a Police Commission meeting on May 8. In response to Hines-Brim’s defiant act, Beck ordered her forcibly removed from the meeting and arrested. As she was being hauled out by police, Melina Abdullah, professor and chair of Pan-African Studies at Cal State University L.A. and a well-known organizer of Black Lives Matter (BLM) Los Angeles, arrived at the meeting. Abdullah asked other attendees to film the police’s brutal manhandling of Wakiesha’s aunt, after which a cop yelled out “Arrest Melina!” (read more...)

1 June 2018

Defend Revolution Club/Refuse Fascism Protesters!

Anti-Trump Leftists Targeted by UCLA Administration, Cops

(Young Spartacus pages)

We print below a March 19 leaflet issued by the Los Angeles Spartacist League and distributed at UCLA. According to a spokesman for Refuse Fascism, the L.A. city attorney has decided not to proceed with charges, for now, against those arrested at the February protest against Steven Mnuchin and during the Chelsea Manning event in March.

Since February, the UCLA administration and its campus police thugs have been on the warpath against supporters of the Revolution Club and Refuse Fascism, front groups associated with the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP). On February 26, three women from these organizations were manhandled and arrested for vocally protesting Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin at a public forum on campus. As much of the audience hissed, booed and jeered at Mnuchin’s remarks, the women vigorously condemned the Trump administration for deporting immigrants, bullying North Korea, and assaulting health care and Social Security. In the guise of defending “freedom of speech and expression,” cops yanked the critics from their seats and dragged them from the hall, all of which was captured in a video that Mnuchin and the administration unsuccessfully tried to squelch. According to Refuse Fascism, the three women were then charged with trespassing, while one of them—a UCLA student—was also charged with resisting arrest. (read more...)

23 May 2018

S.F. Airport Atrocity

Moro Activist Tortured, Refused Entry by Border Cops

The Partisan Defense Committee joins Filipino activists and others in protesting the brutal treatment of Jerome Succor Aba by Customs and Border Protection agents at San Francisco International Airport on April 17-18. A defender of the oppressed Muslim Moros and Lumad communities of the southern Philippines island of Mindanao, the 25-year-old activist was held for 28 hours as supporters rallied outside the airport to demand his release. According to a press release by Jessica Antonio, secretary general of Bayan USA, Aba was treated like an enemy combatant and subjected to rendition-style interrogation, including being forced to strip naked in front of an industrial fan blowing cold air and badgered about being a “terrorist” or “communist.” (read more...)

18 May 2018

Rakem Balogun Freed

After nearly six months of detention in federal prison on a bogus illegal weapons charge, Rakem Balogun, a 34-year-old black Texas activist targeted for his advocacy of black armed self-defense, is free. Because of his opposition to cop brutality and his support of gun rights, Balogun was designated a “Black Identity Extremist”—a label cooked up by the FBI to criminalize black organizing and to whip up racist fervor against Black Lives Matter and anyone else the government views as a threat. The Feds busted Balogun claiming he couldn’t own firearms due to a 2007 misdemeanor in Tennessee, a pretext the judge noted was baseless when dismissing the indictment on May 1. In an interview with the Guardian (11 May) after his release, Balogun called the ordeal the Feds put him through “tyranny at its finest.” He went on: “I have not been doing anything illegal for them to have surveillance on me. I have not hurt anyone or threatened anyone.” (read more...)

4 May 2018

Texas

Black Woman Jailed...for Voting

The right to vote is said to be sacred in the “land of the free,” a cure-all for every injustice visited upon working people and the downtrodden. Every time a rotten contract is crammed down the throats of a unionized workforce by the bosses; every time a black youth is shot dead in the streets by racist police; every time an immigrant child is torn from his mother’s arms by Homeland Security, working people are peddled the lie that they can change things at the ballot box. But the entire history of this country proves that, for the bourgeoisie, the franchise was never meant for everyone, and that goes double for black people. Nowhere is this more evident than in the “Great State of Texas.” To this day, the political fabric of Texas is shaped by the 19th-century conspiracy whose purpose was to expand black chattel slavery into the Southwest by robbing Mexico of millions of acres of its territory. (read more...)

1 de mayo de 2018

Puerto Rico: ¡Libertad ya a los manifestantes del Primero de Mayo! ¡Abajo los cargos!

El Partisan Defense Committee condena el brutal ataque policiaco contra los jóvenes que participaron en las protestas del Primero de Mayo en San Juan contra la Junta colonial. Los policías con equipo antidisturbios lanzaron gas lacrimógeno a la gente y los golpearon con batones. También hicieron redadas en las viviendas de Río Piedras para buscar activistas. Denunciamos esta campaña de terror. El estado quiere silenciar a todos aquellos que se oponen a las medidas hambreadoras dictadas por los amos coloniales de Estados Unidos e impuestas por el gobierno capitalista de Puerto Rico. Al menos 19 personas fueron arrestadas, muchos de ellos estudiantes del plantel Río Piedras de la Universidad de Puerto Rico. ¡Libertad ya a los manifestantes! ¡Abajo los cargos! (leer más...)

1 May 2018

Puerto Rico: Free the May Day Protesters Now! Drop All Charges!

The Partisan Defense Committee condemns the vicious police attack on youth who were part of the May Day protests in San Juan against the colonial Junta. Cops in full riot gear fired tear gas into the crowd and beat people with batons. They also raided private homes in the Río Piedras neighborhood, searching for activists. We denounce this campaign of terror. The state wants to silence all those who oppose the starvation measures imposed by the U.S. colonial masters and enforced by the capitalist government of Puerto Rico. At least 19 people have been arrested, many of them students from the Río Piedras campus of the Universidad de Puerto Rico. Free the May Day protesters now! Drop all charges! (read more...)

6 April 2018

Germany Seizes Carles Puigdemont

Free Catalan Independentistes Now!

The following article was written in collaboration with the Spartakist-Arbeiterpartei Deutschlands, German section of the International Communist League.

On the morning of Sunday, March 25, the European Union (EU), which is dominated by German imperialism, showed its true, ugly face. In one of its first acts, the new German coalition government of the Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social Union and the Social Democratic Party arrested the exiled president of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont, at an autobahn rest stop near Schleswig and threw him in prison. The Spanish state has charged 13 leading representatives of the Catalan independence movement, including Puigdemont, with “rebellion.” Using an EU-wide arrest warrant, Spain is demanding the extradition of not just Puigdemont but also his former ministers: Clara Ponsatí, who works at a Scottish university, and Antoni Comín, Lluís Puig and Meritxell Serret, who are in Belgium. Relying on a separate international arrest warrant, Spain is also demanding that Switzerland extradite Marta Rovira, General Secretary of the Esquerra Republicana (Republican Left party). (read more...)


The PDC is a class-struggle, non-sectarian legal and social defense organization which champions cases and causes in the interest of the whole of the working people. This purpose is in accordance with the political views of the Spartacist League. Our heritage is the working-class defense policies of the International Labor Defense (ILD), under its founder and first secretary from 1925-1928, James P. Cannon. The PDC was initiated by the Spartacist League in 1974, and stands on the record of principled defense work conducted by the Spartacist League.

The PDC is partisan: we stand unconditionally on the side of working people and their allies in struggle against their exploiters and oppressors. We place all our faith in the power of the masses and no faith whatever in the “justice” of the courts. While favoring all possible legal proceedings for the cases we support, we recognize that the courts, prisons and police exist to maintain through organized violence and terror the rule of one class over others. In its partisanship, the PDC is also anti-sectarian. We champion causes and defend cases whose victorious outcomes are in the interest of working people, irrespective of particular political views. We defend, in the words of James P. Cannon, “any member of the workers movement, regardless of his views, who suffered persecution by the capitalist courts because of his activities or his opinion” (The First Ten Years of American Communism).