Hardcore revolutionaries are working overtime to disrupt, even shut down, the Republican National Convention opening Monday in Cleveland.
Unless Cleveland’s police are well prepared and resolute, the city’s streets could well see bloodletting and violence on a scale not seen since Chicago 1968. Given the recent spate of communist-driven and White House encouraged anti-police violence and the almost visceral hatred many on the left feel towards prospective Republican nominee Donald Trump, almost anything could happen. If City leaders don’t firmly stand behind their “thin blue line,” the radicals will try to turn Cleveland into a cauldron of hatred.
Grand Rapids, Michigan based activist Tom Burke, one of the lead organizers of the Coalition to Stop Trump and March on the RNC, says the protest has two aims. “One is it helps to build movements in this country by tying local groups to national issues. Secondly, it has an impact on the elections because the media starts to cover what the protesters are saying. We have a very different agenda than the Republican Party — and this year, in particular.”
Mick Kelly, a co-leader of Coalition to Stop Trump and March on the RNC stated, “We plan on marching right up to the site of the RNC. We insist that our right to protest is respected. The people of this county are rejecting Trump and his racist, anti-immigrant, and anti-Muslim attacks.”
Both men are long time leaders of the neo-Maoist Freedom Road Socialist Organization/FightBack! One of the most militant groups in the country, Freedom Road has actively supported Marxist insurgencies in the Middle East and Latin America for decades and enjoys a close relationship with the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a leading American Muslim Brotherhood front group.
Both Burke and Kelly were among 23 mainly Chicago and Minneapolis based activists whose houses were raided in 2011, during an FBI crackdown on the Freedom Road Socialist Organization/FightBack! faction.
According to Tom Burke:
“Thousands of people are coming to the RNC to protest Trump. Buses are being chartered to come to this protest from as far away as Minnesota, and we plan on being within sight and sound of the RNC on July 18.”
About 40 immigrant rights, student, anti-war, labor and low-income organizations have announced their support for the protest. Almost all are front groups for Freedom Road or their allies, the pro-North Korea and Iran Workers World Party.
While Freedom Road and Workers World are leading the charge, almost every communist group in the country is likely to be involved. Cleveland is in easy driving distance of the communist strongholds of Detroit, Minneapolis and Chicago, and not too far from New York, Boston and Philadelphia. Freedom Road and Workers World are mobilizing their cadre from all over the Midwest; down to Durham, North Carolina; Tampa Bay and Tallahassee in Florida; and across to Salt Lake City, Utah.
The endorser list is growing and includes communist fronts such as Chicago based National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression; the Milwaukee Anti-War Committee; People’s Opposition to War, Imperialism and Racism; Students for a Democratic Society; the United Workers Organization of Wisconsin; the Detroit Active and Retired Employees Association; the United National Antiwar Coalition; and Muslims for Social Justice.
Many of the same organizers helped lead the mass marches that drew thousands at the 2008 RNC in Saint Paul, Minnesota and the 2012 RNC in Tampa, Florida. The protests in Cleveland are expected to be both much larger and more violent.
The demonstration will put forward the slogans:
“Dump Trump, Say No to the Republican Agenda. Stand Against Racist, Anti-Immigrant, and Anti-Muslim Attacks. We demand Peace, Justice and Equality.”
Tom Burke states:
“We have now applied for permits to march on the RNC and we insist that the permits are granted in a timely manner. We have a right to protest Trump and his racist, reactionary agenda, and that is exactly what we will do on the opening day of the Republican National Convention.”
Mick Kelly added:
“While the coalition wants permits to ensure the broadest participation in the protest, we will march permits or not.”
“We will have speakers representing a wide range of struggles — Black Lives Matter, Palestine and the Right to Return, Indigenous demands to scrap the racist mascot of the Cleveland baseball team, doctors marching a few days later against Islamophobia, justice for migrants, LGBTQ rights, Detroiters fighting foreclosure, and many more,” said Cleveland-based march organizer Susan Schnur. “We encourage people to bring signs and banners representing their own struggle against bigotry, economic injustice, and the capitalist system responsible for both.”
As Lydia Bayoneta, long time Rochester, NY activist and Workers World Party organizer explained:
“The racist onslaught of police terror in the United States is part of a worldwide mobilization of racist, Islamophobic, anti-immigrant and reactionary forces. In Cleveland, the eyes of the world will be focused not only on the reactionary forces, but also on the growing resistance within the U.S to racist police terror and all forms of oppression.”
At the 3,000 strong People’s Summit in Chicago last month, I interviewed more than a dozen communists from several parties. Most were looking to Cleveland. Several talked of the US being closer to revolution than any time since 1968. You could see the light of revolutionary fervor in their eyes. They saw Cleveland as a revolutionary opportunity of a lifetime.
God forbid that a Democrat-led city allows these people to live out their bloody fantasies.
Trevor Loudon is a New Zealand writer and speaker, currently living in the USA. Loudon is working on the soon-to-be-released documentary: The Enemies Within (see trailer here) and is the author of the 2013 book The Enemies Within: Communists, Socialists and Progressives in the US Congress.
Contact Trevor Loudon at firstname.lastname@example.org.