The essence of Panther strategy is to occupy space, as we can, within the confines of capitalist-imperialist society from which to resist the dictatorship of the monopoly capitalists and build community-based people’s power that is intercommunally linked and serves as a base for the worldwide united front against capitalist imperialism creating a situation of dual power until the opportunity presents itself for insurrection and seizure of power from the capitalist imperialists. In other words, our strategy is to transform the slave pens of oppression into Schools of Liberation and the oppressed communities into Base Areas of Cultural, Social and Political Revolution in the Context of Building a Worldwide United Front Against Capitalist-Imperialism.
In this we agree with aspects of both Leninist and Anarchist strategy while opposing their lack of awareness of the necessity to combine these aspects dialectically. We agree with the Leninists on the absolute need to seize state power to lead the masses of people in the work of organizing a socialist society and with the Anarchists that we cannot wait until the seizure of state power to begin to build and exercise people’s power, but such dual power cannot be an end in itself or a substitute for the dictatorship of the proletariat. It is but a stepping stone.
Generally speaking, Leninists in the advanced capitalist countries concentrate all their efforts on disseminating Marxist ideology in the form of propaganda among the masses to instill revolutionary class consciousness. Whenever the masses protest, they turn out to sell their newspapers and to recruit others to sell their newspapers. For the most part, grassroots community organizing is left to reformists and Anarchists. The original Black Panther Party (and it’s affiliates among other ethnic communities), were a notable exception. The Panthers both organized around the people’s immediate needs with “Serve The People” survival programs and carried on revolutionary agitation, education and organizing to raise the revolutionary class consciousness of the masses.
Traditionally, Marxist organizations and parties concentrate their main organizing efforts at the point of production where workers can make their power felt via the mechanism of strikes, in particular promoting the use of the political general strike. This is all well and good, but useless as far as organizing the urban poor and marginalized workers in the oppressed communities that are the Panther movement’s social base. For us, community organizing is an absolute necessity.
While the State exercises control over the communities via the local government and the police and through state social service agencies, FBI and other state agencies, there is space for dual power through independent community organizations and coalitions, people’s service programs and alternative institutions, and these provide a basis for building and sustaining a vanguard party and movement of the people rooted in the oppressed communities.
Such manifestations of grassroots people’s power will be subject to harassment and repression by the State, but our movement will be able to defend itself and fight back with the support of the community and the court of public opinion. The very laws of the State can be used to back down the State by threatening exposure of the true nature of the State as an instrument of class dictatorship and rip away the facade of “Democracy” and a “government of laws.” While guarding against the illusion of “legalism” and failing to ourselves grasp the true nature of liberal-fascism, we can mount a vigorous legal defense of our movement and rally the masses of people to protest every act of repression against us and the people in the oppressed communities.
Our purpose in the Class War is to preserve our forces and grow stronger while diminishing the authority and power of the State and its ability to maintain the status quo. From our side, this war has three phases; 1.) defensive, 2.) strategic equalibrium and 3.) the strategic offensive (or insurrectionary phase. Unlike rural-based People’s War, where the purpose is to surround the urban centers with liberated countryside, urban-based Class War seeks to create a situation of dual power within the urban centers to facilitate sustained class struggle leading to insurrection and the overthrow of the State.
On our own, the urban poor and marginalized workers cannot overthrow capitalist-imperialism, but we can act as a catalyst upon the whole proletariat and masses of people – here and internationally — to inspire them to rise up and pull down the whole rotten system. This includes winning over a significant portion of the oppressor’s armed forces – here and in their deployments internationally – to side with the people. As an important segment of these forces are drawn from our oppressed communities, it is imperative that red political power be built in the oppressed communities to win the allegiance of these sisters and brothers.
Likewise, the “souljas” of the lumpen street tribes are also our brothers and sisters and are themselves targeted for repression by the ruling class’s “War on the Poor.” Traditionally, a degree of revolutionary consciousness has existed within these organizations, due largely to the influence of the original Black Panther Party (and its affiliates). We can play an influential role in assisting these organizations to more firmly root themselves in revolutionary consciousness and unite to form a “Red Fist Alliance” with each other as part of the United Panther Movement.
Within the prisons, the RFA can play a significant role in defusing racial tensions and violence between factions and promoting unity between all prisoners and all factions in the transformation of the prisons into “Schools of Liberation.” Outside the prisons, the RFA can play a powerful role in building support for the prison movement and in creating dual power in the oppressed communities.
The Occupy Wall Street movement, and particularly Occupy the Hood, has opened up new avenues for building mass struggle. By targeting the Wall Street Oligarchy and the 1% of mega-rich monopoly capitalists, they brought forth a qualitative leap in the class struggle and the consciousness of the masses of people. We have to maintain this consciousness and build on it.
The situation of masses of homeless people and an abundance of abandoned buildings calls forth an organized squatters’ movement that can be incorporated into the transformation of the oppressed communities into revolutionary base areas. This also provides an opportunity for locating people’s institutions, such as; day care centers, soup kitchens, health care clinics, people’s coffee houses, artists’ workshops and so on in reclaimed buildings.
Small shopkeepers and business owners can be brought into the movement along with people’s co-ops and community-owned enterprises and present a united front in dealing with corporate-owned operations doing business in the oppressed communities. The workers in these establishments can be assisted in their efforts to unionize and win better conditions and wages, and the companies can be tapped to support community service programs.
The movement must necessarily grow organically and unevenly from one community to the next, nevertheless, we must always strive to create and build intercommunialism and overall centralized leadership representative of The proletarian state is temporary and will will wither away as the need for it is eliminated, but the power of the people will need to be organized continuously. The institutions created by the revolution will need to be repeatedly revolutionized and from the grassroots up. New forms of struggle will continuously emerge to challenge the established institutions and must be supported by the revolutionaries.
Dare to Struggle Dare to Win!
All Power to the People!
the rank and file to attain and maintain unity of purpose and direction. From the broadest participatory democracy we must create a vanguard party that serves the highest interests of humanity in the struggle to move society forward to achieve social justice and equality for all.
In the military phase, the Party must command the gun (the People’s armed forces) and play an increasingly complicated role in leading the insurrection and socialist reconstruction of society. At all levels of the movement we must encourage (and not merely tolerate) active ideological and political struggle (including inside the vanguard party) and broad participation of the masses in decision making. The Party must never divorce itself from the masses nor the concept of dual power.