For the People – STL is an intermediate organization in Saint Louis, Missouri. Every member of our formation is required to adopt and unite with our points of unity shared with other FTP organizations across the country, these being: anti-capitalism, anti-imperialism, support for and work towards initiating and maintaining direct aid to the people. Most important than direct aid to the people (which should be steadily turned over to the people to administer under the guidance of FTP cadre) is building fighting organizations of the working class such as tenant organizations, community patrols, and neighborhood committees to administer a variety of programs, conduct political education, and engage in/develop creative solutions for the problems of the working class/unemployed/retired people of the community, and youth. We are explicitly proletarian feminist organizations, and our guiding organizing principle is the mass line method of leadership. The mass line method of leadership can be summed up as “from the masses, to the masses”. What this means is that we take the most advanced ideas of the masses, concentrate them in the form of a line based on our application of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism to the concrete conditions of the United States and the Saint Louis area in particular, and carry this line back to the people in the form of programs/new mass organizations such as those we have already mentioned. As part of our political work, we conduct tri-weekly political education events, two of which are open to the public. On Wednesdays, we conduct film political education events with discussion afterwards, on Fridays we conduct reading political education events with discussion afterwards. We currently are reading and discussing Vicky Osterweil’s “In Defense of Looting”, which essentially seeks to situate “looters” and others who fly in the face of bourgeois decency in the midst of the revolutionary movement. On the evening of Friday, November 27, our scheduled discussion over the chapter discussing the history of the police was replaced with an ad hoc “speaking bitterness” session the topic of which was “Why We Want to Destoroy American Imperialism”. Speaking bitterness is a Chinese phrase that refers to the group discussion sessions that originated during the Chinese Civil War period and continued throughout the socialist period. During these sessions, elders, youth, and others who experienced the atrocities of Japanese, British, and Yankee imperialism along with the abuses of the Kuomintang sellouts were encouraged to share their stories and hardships with others in the same situation, and discuss how their lives had changed under socialism. Following are FTP members’ and others’ reasons for struggling for the destruction of American imperialism.
Comrade MH: US imperialism is the number one enemy of the people of the world. It steals thousands of lives every day through prisons, police murder, drone strikes, simple incompetence and mismanagement, poisoning our air, water and soil, and a variety of other things all in the pursuit of profit. I feel that I am dutybound to do my small part to destroy this system.
Comrade AP: I am a New Afrikan woman that suffers from a variety of health issues. I am forced to work crushing hours at a limited range of jobs to maintain my health insurance so that I do not die from poverty or lack of healthcare. I am burdened with student loan debt because the Yankee imperialist system lied to us and taught us that we must have a degree to have a chance at a decent salary in the future. I realized that even if I did have such a salary, it would be at the expense of others. I do not want to be an exploiter, and I want all to have food, shelter, clothing and the other essentials of life. Most importantly, I want those who work to control society — what we call a dictatorship of the proletariat. Only this way can we stop suffering for all of humanity and save our species from extinction. Furthermore, Yankee imperialism brought my people here in chains. We have never had our fair share in this country, yet we do more than our share of the work.
Comrade Toussaint: My family came from the South in the early 1960s. My mother was born in a poverty hospital reserved exclusively for New Afrikan people. My grandmother was a product of the Mississippi Delta, toiling day in and day out for nothing, always in debt. This was the plight of millions of New Afrikan (Black) peasants for almost a century after the Civil War conflict between the Northern industrialists and Southern slave aristocrats forced the Black question to the forefront – we used the conflict to “steal” ourselves as Osterweil points out. My family background is lumpen/semi-proletarian – my mother went to prison my freshman year of high school. Any system that would steal a child’s single parent and stigmatize them does not deserve to exist. Any system in which 80 year old grandparents still have to work to survive instead of enjoying their old age does not deserve to exist. Any system which enslaves and abuses and murders must be destroyed. It’s that simple.
Comrade Joey: Half of my friends couch hop, are homeless. The others work soul crushing jobs for poverty wages. This bitterness has been the case for millenia – slavery, feudalism, now capitalism-imperialism/neocolonialism. We must abolish this system of exploitation for the sake of humanity.
Comrade D. Engels: I feel alienated under capitalism. It has exacerbated my mental health conditions — instead of letting this crush me I have resolved to dedicate myself fully to the revolution.
Comrade J.: I’m poor. My interests are not served by this system and it is my job to work to end it.
Comrade M.A: Like Comrade MH said, I am dutybound to work to end this system. As a working woman, I am doubly exploited and oppressed and thus have all the more reason to seek the end of this system.
Comrade Meca: I have been abused by the police. Everytime I go to town, I see homeless New Afrikan people outside hotels that cost hundreds of millions of dollars. I see my relatives addicted to drugs and alcohol, alienated by capitalism. It simply must end. We have been waiting and struggling 500 years as Black people in this country.
Comrade Roy: As a queer, older, houseless Black man, I seek to end this system because it has done nothing for me. It has brought nothing but misery. Thus, the logical thing is to destroy that which ails me.