Chronology of Political Events, 1954-1992

Part One, 1954-1966

Part Two, 1967-1970

Part Three, 1971-1974

Part Four, 1975-1980

Part Five, 1981-1992

Part Six, Source Reference Guide

 

Chronology Part Four, 1975-1980

 

1975-

            January: Second half of El Comité-M.I.N.P.’s Formative Assembly (first half in June 1974), which transforms the organization into a Marxist-Leninist group. El Comité-M.I.N.P. (El Movimiento de Izquirda Nacional Puertorriqueño/Puerto Rican National Left Movement), later adjusting its name to M.I.N.P.-El Comité, establishes fraternal relations with the Movimiento Socialista Popular (MSP) in Puerto Rico, which held its first Congress in November 1974. (MINP; MSP)

            January 10-12: National Planning Conference for the “Year to Pull the Covers Off Imperialism Project” at Fisk University in Nashville (Abdul Alkalimat of People’s College and Fisk plays a key role) draws a range of Black intellectuals and activists and issues its “Declaration Against Imperialism.” About this time RWL, or a faction of RWL led by Alkalimat, launch the February First Movement as to “build the anti-imperialist Black student movement.“ (Black Scholar January-February 1975; Bolshevik No. 1)

            January: Fuerzas Armadas de Liberacion Nacional-Armed Forces of National Liberation (FALN), in one of its earliest actions, takes responsibility for bombing New York City’s Fraunces Tavern in reprisal for a right-wing bombing in Puerto Rico in which two independentistas were killed. Four people died in this bombing which was  condemned by the bulk of the Puerto Rican and U.S. left. (Torres)

            January-February: The Organizer newspaper (Vol. 1, No. 1) is launched by the Philadelphia Workers Organizing Committee (PWOC). (self-published material in BTr-1)

            February 12: Dessie Woods, an African American woman, is sentenced to 22 years in prison for killing a white man who tried to rape her. A campaign to Free Dessie Woods is conducted throughout the 1970s and into the ‘80s, it is a special priority for the APSP. (Burning Spear February 1978 and other issues)

            February: Third World Coalition Council at the University of Michigan leads a 3-day takeover of the administration building to demand fulfillment of commitments made to the campuse’ Black Action movement five years earlier; the university agrees to negotiate but the demands are not met. (Wei)

            March 1-2: Founding Convention of the Puerto Rican Solidarity Committee (PRSC), outgrowth of a loose network of committees and individuals who had organized the Madison Square Garden rally for Puerto Rican independence in October 1974. (Guardian, March 19, 1975 in BTr-4)

March: Challenges arise to the anti-gay line which is dominant in the New Communist Movement. This month a group of gay communists publishes The Political Perspective of the Lavender & Red Union. This group publishes Come Out Fighting newsletter and later joins a Trotskyist organization. Earlier, in fall 1974, the Guardian received a host of negative mail when it published an openly homophobic letter. Also published in 1975 are: Toward a Scientific Analysis of the Gay Question, by the Los Angeles Research Group, “a group of ten communists who are gay women” critiquing the RU’s position paper on homosexuality which is included as an appendix; and An Open Letter to the New Communist Movement On Homosexuality, published by a group of communists in Washington, D.C. (pamphlets and open letter in BMOV-1; Guardian, October 9, 1974)

March-April: Break between the OL and the Guardian, bitter private meetings and internal staff struggles; an exchange of public polemics on foreign policy, International Women’s Day actions/”no united action with revisionists” line; finally OL pulls its cadre out of the staff - Renee Blakkan, Martin Nicolaus, Nancy Nikcevich and Rod Such resign; Carl Davidson is also associated with the OL position but does not resign at this time/check this. (self-published material in BTr-3; Guardian, April 16, 1975 in BTr-4)

            April 12: Expulsion of a major section of Vietnam Veterans Against the War/Winter Soldier Organization (VVAW/WSO) crystallizes long-simmering internal battle between forces in or close to the RU, who control the national office, and a loose “anti-imperialist caucus” which includes many activists close to the Prairie Fire perspective. The organization rapidly declines in size and influence, with the RU-dominated group maintaining a slightly more than paper existence. (VVAW/WSO)

April 26: Jobs demonstration in D.C. called by the AFL-CIO leadership, featured speaker Hubert Humphrey is booed off the stage in a mostly spontaneous outburst of worker anger. (2,3-Many, p. 37; Revolution February-March 1980; Workers Viewpoint May 1975)

            April 30: Final defeat of U.S. and puppets in Vietnam, with dramatic pictures of the helicopter escape from the roof of the U.S. embassy. U.S. puppets are also ousted that spring in Cambodia (April 17), where the Khmer Rouge take power, and Laos (May 9), when the Pathet Lao take over state power. (Spoke; Revolution Rescued; Second Cold War)

May 24: Local ALD demonstrations in several cities called by ALSC in May 1975, but they are smaller than in 1972-1974 as the organization has been badly damaged by internal factional battles. By the end of 1975 most non-Marxist-oriented folks have left, ALSC is made up almost exclusively of Marxist-Leninist groups and then it goes out of existence, although the WVO tries to rebuild ALSC as an affiliated mass organization in 1977. (ALSC; SalesJr; Forward No. 3; Bolshevik No. 1; Workers Viewpoint No. 5, August 1978; The Call, June 21, 1976)

May: Culmination of a four-way split in BWC produces the Revolutionary Workers Congress, Revolutionary Bloc, Workers Congress (holds its founding convention in August 1975), and the largest group, the Marxist-Leninist Organizing Committee (MLOC), which initiates publication of Unite! newspaper in August 1975 and in 1978 founds the CPUSA/ML. (Unite! Vol. 1 No. 1 & accompanying letter; Costello; 2-3-Many; Red Dawn No. 1; Bribery; Blessof)

            Spring: The October League publishes the first issue of its new theoretical journal, Class Struggle. (Class Struggle No. 1)

            June 8: Prisoners rights activist Wilbur “Popeye” Jackson is murdered amid faction fighting within the prisoners rights movement in San Francisco. There are a number of shootings and killings in this milieu and the related Peoples Food System in the Bay Area in the late 1970s, including the shooting of former San Quentin Six defendant Willie Tate April 26, 1977, the shooting of liberal white prison lawyer Fay Stender in Berkeley, and the murder of former Soledad Brother and San Quentin Six Defendant Fleeta Drumgo November 24, 1979. (Burning Spear January 1980)

            June 9-13: Meeting of Communist Parties of Latin America and the Caribbean in Havana, all 24 parties in attendance approve a statement condemning the Chinese CP and endorsing a Soviet proposal for a world conference of CP’s, making this group the only regional bloc unanimously to support the CPSU in its efforts to read the CPC out of the international communist movement. (Guardian August 13, 1975 in BTr-5)

June 25: Mozambique declares independence, 13 years after FRELIMO had taken up armed struggle against the Portuguese colonial regime. (An agreement with Portugal the previous September 20 had provided for the formal transfer of power on this date.) FRELIMO’s Samora Machel becomes president. (Guardian July 7, 1975 in BTr5; MR December 1975; Almanac; Second Cold War)

June: Indira Gandhi declares state of emergency, repression against opponents on right and left, declaration supported by USSR. (MR September 1975; NLR #159)

July 15: Beginning of a month-long “legal wildcat” at GE’s River Works Plant in Lynne, Massachusetts, a center of radical including NCM activism in labor during the 1970s and 80s. (RA Nov-Dec 1978/Vol. 12 No. 6)

July 26: Shoot-out provoked by FBI agents at the AIM camp on the Pine Ridge reservation leaves two agents and one Indian dead. AIM activist Leonard Peltier - for years on the FBI hit list - is convicted April 18, 1977 of the murders in a case fraught with misconduct by the FBI. He is imprisoned for two life terms and a long campaign in his defense is waged. (Frontline, March 16, 1987; Crazy Horse; Breakthrough Vol. 1 No. 2; Hurricane)

July 29: Organization of American States votes to end its 11-year embargo of Cuba; the U.S. trade embargo continues. (Guardian August 13, 1975 in BTr5)

July: Conclusion of the Helsinki “Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe” - which included 33 European countries, Canada and the U.S., meeting since July 1973 - with the Helsinki Agreement or “Final Act” recognizing the 1945 boundaries throughout Europe. The Final Act was signed August 1. In the Kissinger strategy of detente these were intended to provide leverage to influence the political systems in Eastern Europe, but this approach does not succeed. (Second Cold War; Johnson; Soviet-Germany)

Summer: First National Conference on Socialist-Feminism in Yellow Springs, Ohio draws 1,800, socialist-feminism at this point is a strong pole in the women’s movement. But many of the autonomous women’s unions who were the backbone constituency of the conference dissolve over the next two or three years. The Chicago Union - CWLU - the first, disbands in April 1977. By the early 1980s socialist-feminism as an organized political trend has dissipated, though many individuals, especially in the academy, still identify themselves in that tradition. (Red Apple in SR No. 38; SR No. 73; Women Organizing in SDHx)

Summer: Formation of the Conference on Alternative State and Local Public Policies, a forum-network for progressive elected officials and local activists (largely veterans of the 1960s who had gone into “mainstream politics”) proposed by several staff at the Institute for Policy Studies. The first national meeting was hosted by Paul Soglin, former antiwar activist now mayor of Madison, Wisconsin. (Boyte)

August 7-10: Fourth National Convention of the New American Movement in Oberlin, Ohio; a Marxist-Leninist Organizing Caucus emerges within the organization. (Guardian, August 27 and October 1, 1975 in BTr-4)

August 30: Sgt. Leonard Matlovich’s picture appears on Time magazine’s cover with the words “I am Homosexual” - he is the first out gay man to be so featured. A decorated serviceman and Catholic who had campaigned for Goldwater in 1964, Matlovich came out to his superior officer and March and after extensive hearings and media attention he is given a general discharge. In 1980 an Appeals Court rules his discharge illegal but Matlovich accepts a monetary settlement rather than continue the fight, citing dim prospects when the case reaches the Supreme Court. (Bay Area Reporter August 28, 1997 in BMOV-1)

September 5-8: Conference of Solidarity with the Independence of Puerto Rico held in Havana, with 290 delegates from 78 countries present, including the leading left forces in the Puerto Rican Independence Movement - PSP and the MSP - and a broad-based U.S. delegation. Many NCM groups denounce the gathering and argue for “no united action with revisionism.” (Guardian July 9 & September 24, 1975)

September 11: Chilean delegation sent by Pinochet regime visits China on the second anniversary of the bloody coup (Maitan)

September: RU holds Founding Congress to become the Revolutionary Communist Party, (RCP). Bob Avakian is chair. (Costello; O’Brien, who says founding congress is in October; self -published material in D-10; Revolution October 1, 1975)

Fall: New York City financial crisis (Guardian articles in BTr-5)

Fall: First formal “school term” sponsored by the School for Marxist Education in New York City, later the New York Marxist School/Brecht Forum. The School was initiated by the Marxist Education Collective which had come together in September 1973. (self-published material in folder in D-9)

Fall: Height of Angolan crisis, a major turning point for southern Africa and the New Communist Movement. Key events: August 1974: CIA begins sending aid to the FNLA led by Holden Roberto. Jan 10, 1975: Alvor Agreement between MPLA, UNITA, FNLA and new Portuguese regime calling for transitional three-party coalition government until independence to be declared in November; the agreement stemmed at least in part from unity proposals put forward by the OAU; March: Troops of Zaire’s regular army invade Angola and establish the CIA-backed Holden Roberto of the FNLA in nominal power in northern Angola; the CIA is now sending secret shipments of arms to FNLA and UNITA; August-September: South African troops cross into Angola from bases in illegally occupied Namibia, coordinating the attack with an invasion from Zaire; October 23: South African troops drive north 1,000 miles before being halted by MPLA forces at the Queve river; November 7 & 10: Zaire troops backed by Portuguese mercenaries and South African armored cars push within 15 miles of Luanda before being driven back each time by MPLA troops; November 11, 1975: MPLA declares independence in Luanda and requests Cuban and Soviet help, after which Cuban troops start arriving and drive back the South Africans, FNLA and UNITA. Fighting continues into 1976 and beyond. Within South Africa Blacks gather and cheer for every victory of the MPLA over South Africa, and the MPLA victory is a key factor in fueling the Soweto uprising in June 1976 and the 18 months of mass upheaval which followed. (Second Cold War says a small number of Cuban troops - 700 - arrived in October.) China backs the FNLA and UNITA, as do most almost all the main Maoist groups in the U.S. and around the world. This is the trigger for an overall split in the U.S. New Communist Movement, as the Guardian and other, mainly local-based forces who had functioned within the Maoist current, break with China’s line to support the MPLA. (Burchett in Guardian May 5, 1976, in Background; MR December 1975; Fidel in Black Scholar September 1978; Second Cold War; Frontline, November 11, 1985; Guardian May 17, 1978 reviewing John Stockwell’s In Search of Enemies, in BTr-5)

Fall: The “Revolutionary Wing” takes shape as an alignment of WVO, PRRWO, RWL and ATM, at least partly in opposition to the OL’s issuing its call for Marxist-Leninists to unite and build the party (which culminating in forming CPML in 1977) in November 1975. The Second Conference of RWL in January 1976 “placed the RWL in the revolutionary wing of the communist movement.” By the time of International Women’s Day in March 1976 it has split apart, with WVO and ATM breaking away, internal splits & purges in PRRWO & RWL, and especially intense hostility between PRRWO/RWL vs. their ex-members and WVO, including incidents of physical violence and abuse along with widespread accusations of police infiltration. PRRWO and RWL maintain “the wing,” dissolving themselves into it (Palante ceases publication in December 1976), and in 1977 announce the intention to form a “U.S. Bolshevik Party,” though this group appears to be stillborn as I cannot find any published material from it or referencing its existence. (Chart; Forward No. 3; Bribery; Palante March, April & May 1976; Heat; Bolshevik No. 1; Perez letter in BNCM-1; Blessof; The Call, September 13, 1976)

November: OL founds the Communist Youth Organization (CYO), which publishes The Young Communist and then Speak Out. (The Call, December 20, 1976)

November 25: Rightist “coup” - declaration of martial law by Socialist Party’s Mario Soares - halts advance of Portuguese left-wing workers movement; many leaders of the armed Forces Movement, including Otelo de Carvalho, are arrested; the turn is hailed by orthodox pro-China groups as a “victory over social imperialism.” (NCM-MS; MR March 1977; CRSP)

November: Eldridge Cleaver returns to the U.S. to stand trial; by 1976 he is out on bail and a professed “born again” Christian on the right-wing lecture circuit. (Boyd)

November: Dictator Francisco Franco dies in Spain, followed by the country making a slow negotiated transition to a representative-democratic form of government, with the PCE playing a very conservative role in negotiating the specific terms. The new constitution completing the process is adopted in early 1978.(Hobsbawm; NLR #156)

November: U.N. General Assembly passes a resolution condemning political Zionism as a form of racism and racial discrimination. The resolution is repealed December 16, 1992 under tremendous pressure from the Bush administration. (Shots)

December 17-22: First Congress of Cuban Communist Party. Among other things, Fidel at the closing session December 22 says “We will never renounce our solidarity with Puerto Rico or Angola.” (Guardian December 24, 1975 in BTr5)

December 27-28: OL-initiated National Fight Back Organization is formed at a Chicago conference with 1,100 in attendance. Organizing had begun earlier in 1975 when, as the recession  stretched into this year, OL cadre begin to form local and regional Fight Back committees. (O’Brien; OL-TU; Southern Patriot, January 1976)

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            Harry Haywood’s For a Revolutionary Position on the Negro Question (first written in 1957 - see above) is published and heavily promoted by the October League (as Liberator Press); a second edition comes out in 1976. The OL also publishes Martin Nicolaus’ Restoration of Capitalism in the USSR; the book had first appeared as a series in the Guardian with a disclaimer saying the Guardian was not convinced capitalism had been restored in the Soviet Union. After the formation of the CP(M-L) in 1977 and the expulsion of Nicolaus for alleged rightist deviations, the CP(M-L) repudiated his book for containing too many negative comments about Stalin and for being too positive about the USSR as it existed in the 1960s while capitalism was, according to the book, still “being restored.” (Haywood pamphlet and Nicolaus book in BNCM-6; Sarkis)

IS makes a “turn,” accelerating already-underway industrialization and making its newspaper, Workers Power, an agitational weekly; they state that :within three years we would be a workers’ organization of at least a thousand members, the small core of a party...or we would be set back.” Group more closely aligned with British Tony Cliff group (IS, later SWP) splits to form International Socialist Organization/ISO. (Solid-IS History; NCM-MS; Finkel in Party Problem)

Ramparts magazine - in the late 1960s and early ‘70s possibly the most popular magazine-expression of the radical movements - ceases publication. (RA Vol. 19, No. 6)

Formation of New York BiForum, followed the next year by San Francisco’s Bisexual Center; a movement of bisexuals is taking shape related to but distinct from the lesbian/gay liberation movement. (CrossRoads No. 42)

First U.N. Decade for Women Conference held in Mexico City approves a World Plan of Action, with 125 of 133 countries voting in favor and the U.S. voting against, especially because of a sentence condemning Zionism. At the Second Conference in Copenhagen in 1980 the U.S. was similarly isolated. (Frontline, June 24, 1985)

First annual summit of the heads of government of the Group of Seven major capitalist powers - the U.S., Canada, West Germany, Britain, France, Italy and Japan. The Summits reflect the new economic power balance, with Europe and Japan having more clout within the capitalist world than during the 1950s and ‘60s. (Frontline, August 28, 1989)

Publication of  Dan Georgakas and Marvin Surkin, Detroit: I Do Mind Dying: A Study in Urban Revolution (St. Martin’s Press, New York); Robert L. Allen, Reluctant Reformers: Racism and Social Reform Movement in the United States (Anchor Books, New York); James Weinstein, Ambiguous Legacy: The Left in American Politics (New York, Franklin Watts); David Cortright, Soldiers in Revolt (Garden City, N.Y. Doubleday [Anchor Press]); Alec Nove, Stalinism and After (George Allen & Unwin, London, Boston); Fernando Claudin, The Communist Movement: From Comintern to Cominform (Monthly Review Press, New York - Spanish edition published in 1970, British also in 1975); Inside the Company: CIA Diary, by Philip Agee, (Stonehill, New York); COINTELPRO: The FBI’s Secret War on Political Freedom, by Cathy Perkus (New York, Monad Press); The Iron Fist and the Velvet Glove (Berkeley, Center for Research on Criminal Justice); With the Weathermen: The Personal Journey of a Revolutionary Woman, by Susan Stern (Garden City New York, Doubleday);

Theoretical work advocating socialist-feminism becomes widespread, initially in article-length works in Radical America, Socialist Review and various feminist publications. This year (1975) the first collection of such articles appears, Toward an Anthropology of Women, Rayna R. Reiter, ed. (Monthly Review Press, New York). Many others follow in the next several years, the most important being Capitalist Patriarchy and the Case for Socialist Feminism, Zillah Eisenstein, ed. (Monthly Review Press, New York, 1979); and Women and Revolution: A Discussion of the Unhappy Marriage of Marxism and Feminism, containing the influential essay by Heidi Hartman, “The Unhappy Marriage of Marxism and Feminism: Toward a More Progressive Union” (Boston, South End Press, 1981).  A history and critique of socialist-feminism - published later -  is Marxism and the Oppression of Women: Toward a Unitary Theory (New Brunswick, Rutgers University Press, 1983) This is also the year of a controversial book from the women’s movement, especially its view of race and rape: Susan Brownmiller, Against Our Will: Men, Women and Rape (New York, Simon and Schuster) - see the critique of it by Angela Davis in Black Scholar April 1978, and my recollection is that there was also a widespread critique in the NCM.

 

1976-

            January 6: Zhou Enlai dies. Hua Guofeng is compromise choice for premier. Abortive counter-offensive against the Gang of Four led by Deng Xiaoping culminates in demonstration in Tienanmen Square April 5. The demonstration is suppressed, Deng is purged again. (NYT 2/20/97; Mao Makes 5; Trial)

            January 23: Paul Robeson dies. (Influential)

            January 30-February 1: Hard Times Conference in Chicago draws 2,200 but fails to produce a durable follow-up. Activists in and around PFOC play a central role in organizing the gathering, PSP and CASA play the most positive roles at the conference and the gathering does serve to build for the PSP-initiated Bicentennial event in July. (PFOC material in BREV-4; various material in BTr-3; Guardian February 11, 1976 in BTr-4)

January: Founding Conference of the Northern California Alliance, after over a year of discussion of the “mass intermediate socialist organization” (or mass revolutionary socialist organization) framework as an alternative to “pre-party communist” or social democratic forms. (self-published material in BREV-2)

March: RCP publishes pamphlet Cuba: The Evaporation of a Myth, From Anti-Imperialist Revolution to Pawn of Social Imperialism, article which had first appeared in its Revolution February 15, 1976 (pamphlet in D-10)

March 24: Coup in Argentina brings military government to power, accelerates rightward policies already underway in last years of the Peronist government, launches the “dirty war” against dissent in earnest, and completes a series of counter-revolutionary victories in Latin America’s southern cone. SF Chronicle August 25, 1997 says that “during the ‘dirty war’ of 1976-1983 at least 9,000, and possibly as many as 30,000 people, were ‘disappeared’” - also see SF Chronicle of December 7, 1997. (SF Chron clips in BMOV-4; MINP; MR April 1977)

April 9: Folk protest singer Phil Ochs - who wrote “Love Me, I’m a Liberal” and “Cops of the World” among other songs - commits suicide. (SF Weekly September 17-23, 1997 in D-3)

April: Final report of the U.S. Senate “Church Committee” investigating intelligence activities, reveals the details of COINTELPRO program. (Abron in Underground)

May 1: The October League changes its newspaper, The Call, to a weekly, claiming a circulation of 25,000. In a later retrospective, Carl Davidson says that at its peak, the paper had a circulation of 12,000, though most were single-copy sales by a membership mobilized to sell the paper rather than subscriptions. (Bribery; Davidson; Call May 1, 1976)

May-September: Sparked by Angola controversy, the Guardian opens up debate on China’s foreign policy. Important piece by William Hinton in May 5 issue saying China has shifted its line to “Soviet Union more dangerous of the two superpowers” - the alliance with the U.S. is out in the open to the U.S. left (though some still deny it exists). The same issue has an article by Wilfred Burchett arguing that China has made grievous misassessment in Angola and southern Africa. Wrap-up piece in the Guardian’s long series is in Viewpoint in the September 8 issue. During the series, Guardian executive editor Irwin Silber goes on a nationwide speaking tour focusing on the international line of the U.S. left, aimed at rallying support for the paper’s views, which draws its largest crowd in New York June 4, 1976 - 950 people(Guardian issues in Club Study folder in BTr-3; The Call, June 28, 1976)

Spring: Faced with the defeat of their FNLA, UNITA and South African allies in Angola, many top Washington policy-makers - led by then-Secretary of State Henry Kissinger - wish to intervene directly, but less than a year since Washington’s defeat in Vietnam opposition is too strong. Instead, Congress passes the Clark Amendment prohibiting any U.S. aid to forces trying to overthrow the Angolan government. The “Vietnam Syndrome” first shows its force. (Second Cold War; Frontline, November 11, 1985)

Spring: National Black Political Assembly effort to recruit and run an African American independent presidential candidate, supported by the Interim Committee for a Mass Party of the People and others. Congressman Ronald V. Dellums from California, the leading figure mentioned, decides in the end not to accept the NBPA's attempted draft; the NBPA finally nominates Rev. Frederick Douglass Kirkpatrick and runs a small-scale campaign in eight states. (Glick; Grass Roots July-August 1976 in D-9)

Spring: “Outsider” Jimmy Carter wins the Democratic nomination mainly via the primary route, and Gerald Ford beats back a challenge from Ronald Reagan to win the Republican nomination. The New Right (the term is first used in 1975), though it cannot yet win Reagan the nomination against incumbent Ford, has become a national power. By this year the Committee for the Survival of a Free Congress together with other New Right PACs is raising more money than the Republican National Committee and its House and Senate campaign committees combined. They are now joined by the National Conservative Political Action Committee, formed by a number of staff from the Reagan 1976 campaign. This period also sees the rise of Jerry Falwell’s Moral Majority, Anita Bryant’s and others anti-gay crusades, Phyllis Schlafly’s anti-ERA Eagle Forum and a host of organizations pushing the anti-abortion “Right to Life” crusade. Thought it will experience ups and downs over the next 15 years, the New Right will remain a powerful political force down to the present. (Davis in NLR #128; Second Cold War; Boyte)

            June 7: Peggy Dennis resigns from the CPUSA. (Dennis)

June 8: Tom Hayden, in his first bid for public office, loses the California Senate primary to incumbent John Tunney 54%-36.7%. In the fall general election, S.I. Hayakawa, reactionary former president of San Francisco State University, defeats Tunney. Later in 1976, the Hayden-for-Senate network forms the Campaign for Economic Democracy (CED), which later became Campaign California. (Reunion)

June 9: First Letter from the Committee of Five, predecessor of the OCIC, discussing the formation of an “anti-dogmatist, anti-revisionist (later, anti-dogmatist, anti-left opportunist) trend.” (self-published material in BTr-2)

June 16: Soweto uprising in South Africa sets off 18 months of continuous mass action, propelling thousands of youth toward activism and the ANC. The recent MPLA victory in Angola fuels the resistance. (Frontline Supplement January 19, 1987 & Frontline, November 11, 1985)

            June 29-30: Conference of European Communist Parties in Berlin, ideological battles between Eurocommunists and the CPSU; see entry on Eurocommunism at end of 1976 section below. (Second Cold War; Viewpoint Vol. 1 No. 1)

            June: Formation of the Clamshell Alliance in New Hampshire after approval of a license to build the Seabrook nuclear power plant on the New Hampshire Coast; beginning of the large-scale anti-nuclear non-violent direct action movement of the late ‘70s and early ‘80s that also included the Abalone Alliance and the Livermore Action Group. In August 1976 177 Clamshell demonstrators are arrested trying to block Seabrook construction and in May 1977 1,414 are arrested. (Epstein; Gitlin-World)

            July 1: The Supreme Court rules that the death penalty is not cruel and unusual punishment and is acceptable under the Constitution. Under new state statutes deemed consistent with the Court’s 1972 decision against the death penalty’s arbitrary use, executions begin again,; the first state-sanctioned killing since 1967 took place January 17, 1977, when Gary Mark Gilmore was executed by shooting in Utah. (Almanac)

July 4: July 4th Coalition demonstration anchored by PSP “For a Bicentennial without Colonies”; large build-up convention had been March 27-28 in New York. The sponsoring coalition continues (in low-activity mode) as the “People’s Alliance,” which holds its official founding conference March 19-20, 1977. Shortly afterwards the PSP begins a period of decline after putting its main emphasis on the November 1976 elections in Puerto Rico and doing poorly. The PSP’s student group, FUSP, dissolves itself in November 1977 and in 1979-1983 the PSP undergoes serious loss of membership. Yet for a time the Puerto Rico Solidarity Committee (PRSC) - formed in March 1975 (see above) - remains an important focus of left activity, and various campaigns are launched including appeals to the U.N. A smaller July 4 action by RCP draws 3,000 in Philadelphia. (MINP, O’Brien; Glick; July 4 Coalition folder in BTr-3; MPOC Bulletin Vol. 2, No. 10; Black Scholar October 1977; Puerto Rico; Torres)

            August 16-19: Fifth Non-Aligned Summit meets in Colombo, Sri Lanka, with 86 participating nations (up from 75 at Algiers in 1973). The new Socialist Republic of Vietnam attends (this is the SRV’s first major international meeting), as does Angola led by the MLPA, Laos, Kampuchea and North Korea; the large socialist bloc pushes the Movement toward stronger anti-imperialist positions. The proceedings among other things attack Western domination of the media and press UNESCO to change its communication concept from “free flow of information” to “balanced flow of information,” provoking fierce attack in U.S. (Black Scholar December 1976)

September 4-5: SCEF Board meeting consolidates OL control over the organization, passes resolutions terming the USSR a social imperialist superpower and changing the name of the SCEF newspaper to Southern Struggle beginning in 1977; the character of the paper also changes conspicuously to reflect the OL, then CP(ML), line and include explicit left polemics) and the CPUSA is explicitly a focus of criticism. OL writes that “a little over a year ago the CP was driven out of SCEF.” At its September 1977 meeting SCEF adopted a resolution supporting “self-determination for the African American Nation” and changed its organizational structure to function as a membership organization. By 1980 the organization is in conspicuous decline, with circulation of its newspaper dropping 80% from 1975. (Southern Patriot, February, September & November 1975 & June-July & September 1976, January & November 1977, November 1980; The Call, September 27, 1976)

September 9: Mao Zedong dies; appointment of Hua Guofeng as chair of CPC. In Hua’s initial speech eulogizing Mao he praises Mao for smashing the schemes of Deng Xiaoping, among others, for capitalist restoration. The Gang of Four are arrested on October 6, along with a number of Mao’s relatives; public campaign against the Four begins on October 10. In practical terms, this ended the Cultural Revolution and marked the beginning of a major turnaround in Chinese government and party policy. (Trial; MR July-August 1978; Mao Makes 5; Revolution October 1, 1976).

September 21: Orlando Letelier, former ambassador of Chile’s Popular Unity government, and Ronni Moffitt assassinated by a car bomb later proved to be planted by an agent of the Chilean junta. (MR September 1977)

September 16: California Supreme Court finds for Allen Bakke in key “reverse discrimination” ruling; the U.C. Regents, Bakke’s nominal opponents, had argued a weak case - offering no evidence of past discrimination - and now, against the advice of many progressives, they appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. Different sections of the New Communist Movement anchor rival coalitions to mobilize mass action and support for overturning the decision: forces from the emerging anti-revisionist, anti-dogmatist trend initiate the National Committee to Overturn the Bakke Decision (NCOBD) in April 1977; Maoists organize the Anti-Bakke Decision Coalition (ABDC) in June. (Allen in Black Scholar September 1977; NCOBD, NAROC, IWK/ATM and related material in BLM-4 and BMOV-2)

October 6: Cuban civilian jetliner with 73 on board is brought down with no survivors by a bomb that explodes just after the plane takes off from Barbados; it is planted by individuals with links to anticommunist terrorist groups and the CIA. The bombing is in the context of heightened hostility from the U.S. and a series of bombings and violent incidents because of the Cuban role in southern Africa. (Black Scholar December 1976)

Fall: Split in the Weather Underground Organization, information becomes public about the group’s “inversion” strategy to come back aboveground. A key aspect of the inversion strategy is the film Underground, which is released in 1976. PFOC sides with the “Revolutionary Committee”; and, with Osawatomie discontinued, begins publishing a journal, Breakthrough, in March 1977. The advocates of inversion - the former WUO Central Committee and its supporters - disintegrate as an organized group. (WUO Split and other self-published material in BREV-3; Weather)

November 2: Jimmy Carter beats Gerald Ford in the presidential election (Almanac).

November 13: 14 Black marines attack a Ku Klux Klan meeting at Camp Pendleton Marine Base in San Diego-Oceanside, the Black marines are aggressively prosecuted by the military, a (divided) defense movement forms with activists who will soon leave PL (see April 1977 entry below) prominent in one of the factions. (Black Scholar April 1977; Five Retreats)

November 20: Large conference (2,300 in attendance) in New York City sponsored by the RCP: “Conference on the International Situation, Revolution, and the Internationalist Tasks of the American People.” Preparatory material includes position papers from Guardian, OL, RCP and William Hinton, who argues the “Soviet Union is now the main danger” line. (Background; Revolution December 1976)

November: Albanian Party Congress, remarks by Enver Hoxha that seem to be critical of Chinese policies (confirmed in July ’77 with open attack on Theory of the Three Worlds - see below).

November: In These Times newspaper is launched. (SDHx)

December: “Rectification network,” later to become Line of March, is formed in secret in the Bay Area by core activists in KDP, the Northern California Alliance and the Third World Women’s Alliance. (self-published material in BLM-1; personal recollection)

December: Rubin “Hurricane” Carter and John Artis are convicted for the second time on murder charges, having won a new trial after a long campaign - including support from Muhammad Ali and a song by Bob Dylan - against their initial conviction in 1967. in their new trial. (The Call, January 10, 1977)

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CAP changes its name to the Revolutionary Communist League (Forward No. 3)

            Founding Convention of Teamsters for a Democratic Union/TDU, which grows out of Teamsters for a Decent Contract, a rank and file group organized to fight for a good master agreement in the 1976 negotiations. During the mid-1970s another rank and file group is also active - PROD/Professional Drivers Council, formed after a conference on truck safety organized by Ralph Nader. PROD and TDU merge November 3, 1979, the expanded group keeps the name TDU. (Inside the SWP, p. 36; Organizer, July 1979; The Call, November 16, 1979)

            Congress passes the Hyde Amendment, forbidding use of Medicaid funds for abortions, and this Amendment will continue to pass year after year. (Frontline, July 17, 1989)

            Mother Jones magazine is launched. (Mother Jones Vol. 23, No. 1, January-February 1998, bookstore shelves)

            Eurocommunism at its height. In June, Santiago Carrillo, Enrico Berlinguer and Georges Marchais meet to plan a common perspective. Ross and Jenson in NLR #171 say the “most important specific event was the Eurocommunist coalition’s resistance to Soviet strategic goals at the June 1976 Berlin Conference of European Communist Parties.” Also in June, the PCI records important advances in the Italian general election, getting 34.4% of the vote, a total never exceeded before or since. At the end of 1976 Carillo’s Eurocommunism and the State is published, even as the PCE is playing a relatively conservative role in the negotiated transition to democratic rule following Franco’s death. Then there is decline: in the Italian June 1977 (local?) elections PCI loses half the gains of 1976, the PCI is supporting (but not inside) the ruling Christian Democrats in a government of “national solidarity.” In France, left unity (on the basis of the first “Common Program” which had been signed between the Socialists and Communists in June 1972) collapsed in September 1977 (it is officially called off by the PCF, which suffers and declines for the step) and the left subsequently loses the March 1978 elections. At the PCF’s 23rd Congress in 1979 party begins its shift away  from the Eurocommunist positions it had partially adopted for a time. In Spain, the PCE - legalized in April 1977 - which had the highest prestige on the left during the Franco years, is rapidly eclipsed by the resurgent Socialists (PSOE), and by 1983 the party is split three ways. Through this period Eurocommunism gets a lot of attention in the U.S. left, mostly critical from the NCM groups, the Guardian and MR, mostly positive in SR - see for instance No. 29 or No. 33 - and later in TR. (TR and SR various issues; see also Guardian various articles in BTr-5; and debate in Monthly Review June 1977, November 1977, February 1978; NLR #171, #155 & NLR #153/Sept-Oct 1985; Second Cold War; Viewpoint Vol. 1 No. 1; Line of March No. 11)

Meanwhile, in Italy, the far left is in decline: Lotta Continua is immersed in fierce internal battles at its Rimini Congress, which is followed by the relatively rapid collapse of the group. A more gradual disintegration of Avanguardia Operaio begins. In the 1976 general elections, the far left, grouped under the banner of Democrazia Proletaria, gets only 1.5% (Anderson/Europe; NLR #153/Sept-Oct 1985)

“Reinvigoration” of the Socialist International under Willy Brandt’s chairmanship; he serves as president of the International from 1976-1992. (NLR #145; CrossRoads No. 27)

RENAMO (or the MNR), counter-revolutionary group in Mozambique, formed by the director of Rhodesia’s Central Intelligence Organization, and over the years is backed by South Africa and the U.S., especially after Zimbabwe becomes an independent, majority-ruled state in 1980. (Black Scholar Nov-Dec 1987)

            Publication of 450 Años del Pueblo Chicano/450 Years of Chicano History in Pictures, edited by Elizabeth Martínez (Chicano Communications Center of Albuquerque) - an expanded and updated edition titled 500 Años del Pueblo Chicano/500 Years of Chicano History in Pictures is published in 1991 by the SouthWest Organizing Project (see CrossRoads No. 18); Ron Kovic, Born on the Fourth of July (New York, Pocket Books); Santiago Carillo’s Eurocommunism and the State (Lawrence Hill and Co. paperback in the U.S., perhaps appeared later than ’76 here); Considerations on Western Marxism, by Perry Anderson (London, New Left Books); Roots, by Alex Haley (Doubleday); Jonathan Katz, Gay American History: Lesbians and Gay Men in the U.S.A., A Documentary (Avon/Thomas Y. Crowell);

 

1977-

Last week in January: 13-hour, 8-part, controversial treatment of Alex Haley’s Roots is broadcast by ABC television over the course of the week; an estimated 80 million people watch all or part. (Black Scholar May 1977)

January: First issue of Seven Days magazine appears, the publication does not last. (Seven Days Vol. 1, No. 4 in D-9)

February 8: Steelworkers election pitting reform candidate Ed Sadlowski against outgoing president I.W. Abel’s hand-picked candidate Lloyd McBride. (Official results not announced until May 1; at this time the USW is the largest union in the AFL-CIO with 1.4 million members). Sadlowski wins in basic steel but loses in other divisions, getting 44% of the vote overall. Sadlowski’s effort is backed by most of the left, but during the campaign in 1976 the OL criticized its earlier trade union work for “rightism” and specifically denounced Sadlowski’s bid as a trick by the bourgeoisie to “channel the revolutionary aspirations and strivings of the masses into reformism.” (Green; O’Brien; Seven Days Vol. 1 No. 4 in D-9; The Call, December 27, 1976)

March 10: Jurisdictional agreement to last five years between the UFW and Teamsters is announced by the presidents of the two unions. (The Call, March 28, 1977)

March: New American Movement (NAM) launches its own magazine, Moving On (Viewpoint Vol. 1 No. 1)

April 30: Fight for the rights of people with disabilities: Victorious end to the longest sit-in at a federal building in U.S. history: 25-day occupation of the HEW building in San Francisco. For years disability rights activists had been demanding that the Secretary of HEW sign regulations implementing Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; sit-in in S.F. and shorter ones in D.C. and seven other cities had begun April 5, Secretary Joseph Califano signed the final regulations April 28. There is a direct line from this victory to the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, signed into law by President George Bush July 24, 1990.(504 Commemoration)

April: Belgian and Moroccan troops, with French logistical support, intervene in Zaire and save the Mobutu regime amid “invasion” of copper-rich Shaba province by Katangan rebels of the Congolese National Liberation Front which had begun on March 8. The Western action is hailed as “unity of the second world and third world against social imperialism” (that is, against Soviet-backed Angola and the rebels who were allegedly supported by Angola) by many Maoists. There is a second episode of major fighting between Katangan rebels and the Mobutu regime, again with Belgian support, in April or May 1978. (NCM-MS; Fidel in Black Scholar September 1978; Second Cold War; Almanac; Guardian June 21, 1978 in BTr-4)

April: 70% of the Bay Area chapter of PL, just about the only remaining one with significant mass work, leaves the organization and leaders of the breakaway faction soon publish The Five Retreats: A History of the Failure of the Progressive Labor Party (by Sumner, D.S. and R.S. Butler - these are pseudonyms for H.D. and J.D.); the majority of the Boston chapter had left in 1974 (Five Retreats, O’Brien)

            May 11: Charles Bettleheim resigns as chair of the Franco-Chinese Friendship Association in protest of post-Mao policies in China (mainly domestic policies, but to a degree international line as well), and, in response to a defense of the new regime, writes “The Great Leap Backward” in March 1978, which includes a specific attack on the Theory of the Three Worlds. This is an important statement by perhaps the most prominent Western intellectual proponent of Maoism and represents the perspective of one of the main Western sub-currents of Maoism. Meanwhile, the fourth national convention of the U.S.-China Peoples Friendship Association September 2-5 draws 500 delegates representing 90 chapters, with China’s foreign policy an undercurrent of discussion. Robert F. Williams - who had lived in both China and Cuba and said he considers them both socialist - gives a keynote. (MR July-August 1978; Guardian, September 14, 1977 in BTr-4)

May: Publication by PUL of Two, Three Many Parties of a New Type? Against the Ultra-Left Line (United Labor Press, New York) (2-3-Many)

May: First issue (May-June) of Viewpoint, a short-lived publication mainly of ex-CPUSA members oriented toward Eurocommunism, most of whom later join DSOC/DSA. (Viewpoint various issues)

            June 4-5: October League holds founding convention of Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist) - CP(ML); Mike Klonsky is chair. (Costello; Davidson; O’Brien; self-published material in BNCM-6; Soviet-Germany; The Call, June 20, 1977)

June: Guardian Supplement “On Building the New Communist Party” followed by formation of the Guardian Clubs in September; “rectification network” activists play important roles in the Clubs.(Guardian material in BTr-3)

July 5: Military coup in Pakistan brings General Zia-ul Haq to power, ending a brief interlude of “democratic” government under Zulfikar Ali Bhutto following the 11-year reign of dictator Ayub Khan. his pro-U.S. dictatorship will rule for 11 years. (Frontline, September 26, 1988)

July 7:  Albania runs long article explicitly criticizing China’s “Theory of the Three Worlds.” Guardian runs excerpts in July 27 issue. China “responds” with Chairman Mao’s Theory of the Differentiation of the Three Worlds Is a Major Contribution to Marxism-Leninism pamphlet first appearing November 1. (Guardian, July 27, 1977; pamphlet in BNCM-5)

July 13: Power failure in New York City leaves the city without electricity for 24 hours; police guard businesses and there are spontaneous rebellions in parts of various people of color communities. (The Call, July 25, 1977)

July 22: Deng Xiaoping named a vice-premier at the Third Plenary Session of the 10th Central Committee of the CPC; he is back in leadership for the third time and he will stay there until his death in 1997. (NYT2/20/97; Trial; Almanac; ALR March 1978; The Call, August 1, 1977)

July: Debate between Vernon Jordan and President Jimmy Carter at the Urban League National Convention, it is already clear the administration is not responsive to Black and progressive constituencies and is headed rightward. (Black Scholar October 1977)

Summer: A few months after the severing of U.S.-Ethiopia military ties, Somalia (encouraged by the U.S.) invades the Ogaden region of Ethiopia, and Cuban troops and Soviet arms are deployed to defend the Dergue. The U.S. denounces the Soviet and Cuban moves - key Carter administration hawk Zbigniew Brzezinski later says Detente “lies buried in the sands of Ogaden”; the height of the crisis is reached in February 1978. (Second Cold War)

August 4: Tenants at the International Hotel in San Francisco are finally evicted at 3:00 a.m. after a nine-year struggle to save the Hotel; defense of the Hotel was a major focus of work for New Communist forces in the Bay Area, including RCP, IWK and KDP. (I-Hotel folder in BREV-2; Frontline, August 3, 1987; Wei)

August 12-18: Eleventh Congress of the Chinese Communist Party. Mao and the Cultural Revolution are given positive assessments but the Congress officially declares the Cultural Revolution ended. That same month, CPC chair Hua Guofeng and U.S. CP(M-L) chair Mike Klonsky exchange toasts at banquet for CP(M-L) leaders in Beijing; this is effective recognition of the CP(M-L) as the semi-official pro-China party in the U.S. The June founding of the CP(ML) had been hailed by a top CPC leader as a “new victory of the Marxist-Leninist Movement in the U.S.” (Call, August 1, 1977, cited in Bribery) (O’Brien; Viewpoint Vol. 3 No. 1; ALR March 1978)

August 16: Elvis Presley dies. (Top 40)

September 12: Steven Biko, leader of South Africa’s Black Consciousness Movement, is murdered in prison. (The Call, September 26, 1977)

September-October: First issue of Theoretical Review magazine, sponsored by the Tucson Marxist-Leninist Collective and the Ann Arbor Collective, promoting the “primacy of theory” party building line. (Theoretical Review No. 1 and following)

October 8: National Day of Protest Against the Bakke Decision marks the advent of a nationwide grassroots anti-Bakke protest movement. (NCOBD, NAROC and related material in BLM-4 and BMOV-2)

November 8: Louis Farrakhan announces that he breaking with Wallace Muhammad and the changes he initiated in the Nation of Islam after his father in 1975; Farrakhan and his followers move to “re-establish the NOI on the principles established by Elijah Muhammad,” and his Nation of Islam soon eclipses the group led by Wallace Muhammad. In the mid-1980s the Farrakhan-led NOI launches The Final Call newspaper. (Farrakhan; Woodford in Underground)

November 10: Capture of José María Sison - accused of being Amado Guerrero, chair of the CPP - by the Philippine military. Released from prison in 1986 and relocates to the Netherlands. (Sison; Rocamora)

November 12-13: DSOC-initiated Democratic Agenda Conference in Washington, D.C.  draws 1,000, Michael Harrington is the keynote speaker. Democratic Agenda plays a role at the Democratic Party’s mid-term convention in 1978 in Memphis (where ACORN also holds a major demonstration) and in spurring Ted Kennedy’s unsuccessful primary challenge to Jimmy Carter in 1980. In a similar vein, see the Progressive Alliance October 17, 1978 entry below. (SDHx; Delgado in Unfinished; Revolution Magazine September 1979; RA Jan-Feb 1979/Vol. 13 No. 1)

November 18-21: First National Women’s Conference held in Houston, organized by the government, with 20,000 attending. (The Call, November 21 & December 5, 1977; Wei)

December 6: Beginning of the longest coal strike in UMW history that stretches into 1978 as the rank and file reject contract proposals that would take away medical care guarantees won in 1946. Conflict between the leadership of Arnold Miller and the rank and file over Miller’s reluctance to try to shut scab mines or organize the miners who work in them. Carter invokes Taft-Hartley in March, and finally the strike ends March 24 when miners ratify a new contract. Miller resigns the UMW presidency November 16, 1979 and is replaced by vice-president Sam Church. (Green; The Call, December 12 & December 19, 1977, March 20, 1978, December 24, 1979)

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Farmworkers in Texas start a “March for Human Rights” and demand an Agriculture Labor Relations Act, which is introduced in Texas for the first time in 1977 and again (unsuccessfully) in 1979. As of this year California and Hawaii are the only states with legal protections for farmworkers to organize. (Appeal Vol. 5 No. 4)

South End Press is founded in Boston (various South End Press books)

Mobilization for Survival is founded, a coalition/network of 170 local disarmament, anti-intervention and progressive groups, plays a significant role in the left wing of the anti-nuclear and other movements of the late 1970s and 1980s, published The Mobilizer, disbanded some time in the 1990s. (Peace Resource; personal recollection; self-published material in BMOV-7; Frontline, December 3, 1984)

Maximum Rock N Roll, a San Francisco-based international punk fanzine, starts a radio show on Pacifica Station KPFA; the punk movement/subculture is beginning to take off in the U.S.; the origins of the punk movement are in Britain and there the movement is largely working class and intertwined with progressive and anti-racist struggles; here the movement is more middle-class - and almost completely white - and less politically involved or progressive. (RA Vol. 18, No. 6).

            New round of student protest in Italy, but the politics are more amorphous and detached from the working class than in the late 1960s; this is also the period of the rise to prominence of the Red Brigades, who kidnap and kill leading Christian Democrat Aldo Moro in 1978 amid a dramatic rise in state repression. (NLR #153/Sept-Oct 1985)

Publication of the first of four books from “anti-revisionist” circles that critique the capitalist restoration thesis, Jonathan Aurthur’s Socialism in the Soviet Union (Workers Press, Chicago). It is followed two years later by Al Szymanski, Is the Red Flag Flying?: The Political Economy of the Soviet Union Today (Westport, 1979; & Zed Press 1979, London); Michael Goldfield and Melvin Rothenberg The Myth of Capitalism Reborn (Soviet Union Study Project, Line of March Publications, 1980) and Jerry Tung’s The Socialist Road (Cesar Cauce Publishers & Distributors, New York, 1980). These accelerate the already proceeding demise of the pro-Maoist wing of the New Communist Movement and boost the fortunes of those moving toward more pro-Soviet positions. Also, PUL’s Two, Three Many Parties of a New Type? Against the Ultra-Left Line (noted above); and, interestingly, A Critique of Soviet Economics by Mao ZeDong is brought out by Monthly Review Press at the very end of the year.

 Also published in 1977: Frances Fox Piven and Richard A. Cloward, Poor People’s Movements: Why They Succeed, How They Fail (New York; Random House); Peggy Dennis, The Autobiography of an American Communist: A Personal View of a Political Life, 1925-1975 (Westport, Lawrence Hill); Vivian Gornick, The Romance of American Communism (New York, Basic Books); Grasshoppers and Elephants, Wilfred Burchett (New York, Urizen Books, Inc.); Our Roots Are Still Alive: The Story of the Palestinian People and Puerto Rico: The Flame of Resistance (Peoples Press, San Francisco); Essays in Self-Criticism, by Louis Althusser (Humanities Press, Atlantic Highlands, NJ)

 

1978-

            January: Split in the RCP: after over a year of internal controversy, over the assessment of what happened in China (the leadership centered by chair Bob Avakian supported the Gang of Four) as well as strategy in the U.S., about 40% of the RCP membership, mainly in the East and Midwest, led by Mickey Jarvis and Leibel Bergman, split off to form the Revolutionary Workers Headquarters. RCP consolidates around pro-Gang of Four line, issues many documents, and organizes major Mao ZeDong Memorial Meetings on second anniversary of his death in September. (Red Papers 8; Revolution September 1978; Mao Meeting Press Release & Program in D-10; Guardian March 22, 1978 in BTr-4 )

            February 6: A flotilla of fishing boats stop NATO warships from firing off the coast of Vieques, Puerto Rico, beginning a five-year campaign waged by the local residents against U.S. Navy use of the area for a firing range. The effort is also a focus of the Puerto Rican solidarity movement in the U.S. largely through the nationwide Vieques Support Network; a settlement - with some concessions by the government which are not adhered to - is reached in 1983. (Torres)

February 11: Organizing Committee for an Ideological Center (OCIC) is founded in Detroit. Clay Newlin, central figure in the PWOC, is chosen chair of the steering committee. (self-published material in BTr-2)

February 18: 2,200 (according to The Call; Guardian says 1,000) march for Jobs or Income Now in D.C. culminating a major campaign of the CP(ML)/National Fight Back Organization. (The Call, February 27 & March 13, 1978)

February: First session of China’s Fifth National People’s Congress adopts the Four Modernizations as the general line guiding socialist construction. It also adopts a new Constitution with the Three Worlds Theory defined as the basis for China’s foreign policy in the preamble. Deng is back in charge. (Trial; Mao Makes 5; Viewpoint Vol. 3. No. 1, which says Session is in March rather than February) NYT/2-20-97 says Deng becomes “paramount leader” in December 1978. William Hinton says the “Chinese Thermidor occurred in late 1978 when the Third Plenary Session of the Eleventh Central Committee dominated by Deng Xiaoping...switched policies and began the ‘reform.’” (MR November 1991) Harding collection p. 62-63 says the turning point was the November-December 1978 central work conference where Deng succeeded in making the Four Modernizations the top priority and framework for all the CPC’s work, and that the decisions of the work conference were embodied in the communiqué of the Third Plenary Session of the Eleventh Central Committee Hinton refers to just above. (Harding)

March 3: “Internal Settlement” in Zimbabwe: under pressure from ZANU and ZAPU armed struggle, the Ian Smith apartheid regime makes concessions to “moderates”; the agreement is denounced by ZANU, ZAPU - now allied in the loose Patriotic Front - and also by the OAU, armed struggle continues. (Black Scholar September 1978)

April 15: More than 20,000 turn out in Washington DC for national demonstration against the Bakke decision sponsored by National Committee to Overturn the Bakke Decision (NCOBD). (NCOBD, NAROC and related material in BLM-4 and BMOV-2; The Communist April 24, 1978)

April 18: Treaty mandating the return of Panama Canal to Panama in the year 2000 is approved by Congress after a bitter fight. Some of the figures who finally agreed to this Treaty make this “the last compromise” and strongly oppose the SALT II Treaty which is scuttled the following year. (Almanac Halliday in NLR 141)

April 27: Mass actions in conjunction with a military revolt brings the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan to power in the “April Revolution.” (Afghanistan; Organizer, February 1980; Second Cold War)

April: Northern California Alliance splits, with the “transformation” faction supplying a portion of the core building the “rectification network”/Line of March. (self-published material in BREV-2)

June 6: California voters approve Proposition 13 (“Jarvis-Gann”) and catapult the “tax revolt” onto the national agenda and leading to at least 19 states enact legislative or constitutional limits on property and/or income taxes. Over 90% of Blacks vote against the measure, 75% of whites vote in favor; some term the revolt “the Watts riot of the middle classes.”  (Black Scholar October 1978; NLR #143)

June 28: Supreme Court hands down its decision in the Bakke case, admitting Bakke, thus validating the concept of “reverse discrimination,” but saying that race could be taken into account in admissions decisions. Many activists who have fought to defend affirmative action now focus on the Weber case, in which a white steelworker is suing to overturn a “voluntary consent decree/affirmative action program” in a contract between Kaiser Aluminum and the USWA after longstanding discrimination prevented Blacks from upgrading into the skilled trades. Lower courts found in Weber’s favor in 1976 and 1977 and as of the date of the Bakke decision the case is now going to the U.S. Supreme Court. (Freedom; NCOBD, NAROC and related material in BLM-4 and BMOV-2)

July 7:  China cuts off all aid to Albania and brings back all advisers escalating further the ideological dispute between the two former allies. In December the Albanian Party issues Enver Hoxha’s book Imperialism and the Revolution with a full-scale broadside against the CPC including not only the 1977 attack on its Theory of the Three Worlds but an attack on Mao ZeDong Thought as an anti-Marxist theory and a claim that the CPC has been revisionist for many years. (Hoxha; The Call, August 7, 1978)

August 2: New York State Health Department declares a health emergency in the Love Canal section of Niagara Falls, New York; the step is taken under pressure of residents organized in the Love Canal Homeowners Association, the problem is due to leakages from an abandoned dumping ground of the Hooker Chemical Company. The homeowners eventually win compensation for relocation to new homes elsewhere and the extended battle puts the issue of toxic wastes in the national spotlight. The fight is a factor in passage of the “Superfund” cleanup bill in 1980. Lois Gibbs was the most visible activist in the Love Canal fight and she goes on to play a central role in the National Clearinghouse for Toxic Waste Problems. (RA Vol. 17, Nos. 2 & 3; SR No. 66) 

September 17: “Camp David” Accords signed by Anwar Sadat and Menachim Begin under Carter’s tutelage, decisively breaking up the (always shaky) Arab unity against Zionism, consummating Egypt’s entry into the pro-U.S. military and political camp and changing the balance of forces in the Middle East. (Storm; Second Cold War; Almanac; PFLP)

September: U.N. Security Council passes Resolution 435 calling for a cease-fire and free elections in Namibia, but implementation is constantly stalled by South Africa and the U.S. (Black Scholar Nov-Dec 1987)

October 17: Initial planning meeting in Detroit’s Cobo Hall for the “Progressive Alliance” coalition initiated by UAW President Douglas Fraser. In the summer Fraser had resigned from the Labor Management Group, a non-governmental committee, denouncing the business community’s “one-sided class war” against working people. The formal founding meeting of the Alliance was in January 1979. Neither the Progressive Alliance or the DSOC-initiated Democratic Agenda, which shared many similar perspectives (see November 12-13, 1977 entry above), survives to play a noticeable role after 1980/81. (SDHx; Delgado in Unfinished; Revolution Magazine September 1979; RA Jan-Feb 1979/Vol. 13 No. 1)

October 18: Publication by the Guardian of the “State of the Party Building Movement” paper, which leads to a split between the Guardian staff majority vs. Irwin Silber, who resigns as Executive Editor but remains on the staff until he is dismissed in spring 1979, Fran Beal, and the vast majority of the Guardian Club membership. Official separation of the Clubs and the Guardian is January 19, 1979. By February 1979 the Guardian embarks on a new “external relations” effort and is moving away from a specifically party-building orientation toward a broader left orientation. (Guardian, October 18, 1978  and “Guardian/Trend” and “Internal Fight” folders in BTr-3)

October: League of Revolutionary Struggle (LRS)  formed via merger of IWK and ATM  LRS begins publishing Unity newspaper after the staffs of IWK’s Getting Together and ATM’s Revolutionary Cause produce at least one joint issue of Getting Together in August 1978. (Forward No. 1; Getting Together August 1978 in NCOBD file in BLM-4)

November 7: Anti-gay Briggs Initiative which would have barred anyone “expressing support for homosexuality” from teaching defeated in California. (RA Vol. 13 No. 4)

November 18: More than 900 People’s Temple followers of Rev. Jim Jones, most of whom are Black, commit mass suicide in Guyana. (Abron in Underground; Guardian December 6, 1978 in BMOV-2)

November 25: United League of Mississippi, first organized in 1967, comes to national attention after organizing a demonstration of 3,000 in Tupelo to protest the rise of Klan activity. ABDC activists promote fundraising tours for the League in other parts of the country in 1978-79. (Black Scholar March-April 1979; League Fact Sheet in BMOV-2; Guardian, December 6, 1978 in BMOV-2; Southern Struggle November-December 1978)

November 27: San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk, arguably the best-known and most outspoken openly gay elected official in the country, and Mayor George Moscone are assassinated at City Hall by disgruntled former Supervisor Dan White. (Shilts)

November: After an abortive invasion of part of Tanzania, Idi Amin’s regime is overthrown by Ugandans and Tanzanian forces, and a new government led by former head of state Milton Obote comes to power. (NLR #156)

Late in the year: The U.S. breaks off talks with Vietnam on recognition and establishing full diplomatic relations, talks on Washington fulfilling its pledges of economic aid had been broken off earlier and the promised sums were never paid. The reason for breaking off these talks was stated candidly by top U.S. officials: it was to strengthen ties with Beijing and advance the “common cause” against the USSR. (Second Cold War)

December 23: Founding Congress in which the MLOC, one of the groups originating out of the four-way split in the BWC in 1975, transforms itself into the Communist Party USA (ML), (CPUSA-ML). Barry Weisberg is chair, greetings are sent to the Congress by the Communist Party of Albania, the new group pledges to participate in the campaign to make 1979 “the year of Stalin.” (Unite! Vol. 5, No. 1)

December 25: Vietnamese troops invade Kampuchea in support of Heng Samrin-led revolt, overthrowing the Pol Pot regime; fall of Phnom Penh announced January 7, 1979. This followed the lengthy period of Pol Pot-instigated genocide within Kampuchea and a steady build up of Kampuchea-Vietnam-China tension including border fighting, conflicts over ethnic Chinese in Vietnam (including the flight of many ethnic Chinese “boat people” from Vietnam), China cutting off all aid to Vietnam and Vietnam joining COMECON and signing a friendship/military assistance treaty with the USSR in late 1978. (Second Cold War; Karnow; Indochina; Almanac)

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            Socialist Revolution changes its name to Socialist Review (Unfinished)

            IS in decline: publication of Workers Power is halted, replaced by a monthly magazine entitled Changes; by the end of the year all but a handful of the Black members of the organization had left. In early 1977, perhaps the numerical height of the organization, it had 300-plus members - 500 according to Aronowitz - of whom 50 were Black. By the next year the organization is “shattered” and undergoes a split, the rank and file caucus breaking off to form Workers Power (see June 1979 entry below). (Solid-IS History; Finkel in Party Problem; Aronowitz in SR #67)

            Harry Haywood’s autobiography, Black Bolshevik, published by Liberator Press (CP/ML)

            The Carter administration steadily moves rightwards; besides abandonment of detente and decision to escalate the arms race (see June and December 1979 entries below), there is “the firing of Andrew Young [in July 1979, for meeting with a representative of the PLO, see August 1979/Black Scholar Nov-Dec 1988 and Second Cold War], the savaging of the domestic budget, the abandonment of health reform, the curtailment of urban jobs programs and the defeat of labor law reform.” (Davis in NLR #155; Second Cold War)

            Chinese Communist Party Chair Hua Guofeng visits Yugoslavia and declares Yugoslavia a socialist country and that relations between the CPC and League of Yugoslav Communists are based on Marxism-Leninism; friendly relations are opened between the two countries and parties. Formal diplomatic relations had existed since the exchange of ambassadors August 27, 1970 after a 12 year lapse. The next year, 1979, the CPC reopens fraternal ties with the Italian CP. (As early as 1971, the CPC had re-established some level of bilateral relations with the Spanish CP, according to the Guardian, February 23, 1971) During 1982 and the several years following, the Chinese CP reopens fraternal ties with numerous non-ruling “revisionist” CP’s (ties with the French party were reopened in 1982) as well as the ruling parties of Poland and the GDR. (NCM-MS; Century; Problems September-October 1988; Line of March No. 3; Guardian October 11, 1978 in BTr-4; Fields)

Conference titled “Feminist Perspectives on Pornography” sponsored by Women Against Violence in Pornography and Media; over the next several years the issue of pornography will move central to debates in the women’s movement. Women Against Pornography groups are formed, in 1981 Andrea Dworkin’s book Pornography: Men Possessing Women is published, Dworkin and Catherine MacKinnon advocate ordinances banning pornography sometimes allying with right-wing Christian fundamentalists, opponents gather under both civil liberties and “pro-sex” banners, a 1982 conference at Barnard sees a major polarization between the sides, and the issue remains a topic of major controversy within the women’s movement through the 1980s and beyond. (SR No. 75/76; Frontline February 17 and March 17, 1986; Echols)

            Marxist Perspectives magazine is launched; it fails in a few years and one of its editorial collectives affiliates with Socialist Review (Unfinished)

            Beginning of 1978-79 strike wave in Brazil that forces the military regime toward a limited democratic opening, including amnesty for exiled oppositionists and elections set for November 15, 1982. Out of this ferment, the Brazil Workers Party (PT) is founded in 1979, anchored by metal workers in the Sao Paulo industrial area and their leader, Luis Ignacio da Silva (Lula). (MR February 1984 & April 1993; CrossRoads No. 19)

            Reactionary Karol Wojtyla becomes the first Polish-born Pope, taking the name John Paul II. (Hobsbawm)

            Rise of the Newly Industrializing Countries (NICs) is widely noted. During the 1970s “slump decade” for the advanced capitalist countries, whose industrial output 1970-78 rose by 3.3% per year, the industrial output of the Third World rose 8.6% per year and the output of eight NICs grew by 15% per year. These eight included the “four tigers” of Asia - Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea and Singapore; Mexico and Brazil in Latin America; and (not always categorized as NICs in other surveys, which instead include India, and sometimes Pakistan, Thailand, Malaya or the Philippines) Portugal and Yugoslavia in Europe. This decade is also the time observers start to note a “new international division of labor,” and a division in the “Third World” between developing countries and “low income developing countries,” a euphemism for countries that we4re being marginalized in further impoverished in the world economy. (Second Cold War; Hobsbawm)

            Publication of G.A. Cohen, Karl Marx’s Theory of History: A Defense (Princeton) - major opening public salvo in the rise of “analytical Marxism/rational choice Marxism”; And Mao Makes 5, Raymond Lotta (Banner Press, Chicago); The Alternative in Eastern Europe, by Rudolf Bahro (New Left Books, London); In Search of Enemies: A CIA Story, by John Stockwell, (W.W. Norton and Company, New York) - Stockwell was former head of the Angola Task Force; Something to Guard: The Stormy Life of the National Guardian, 1948-1967, by Cedric Belfrage and James Aronson (Columbia University Press, New York);  William Julius Wilson, The Declining Significance of Race (University of Chicago Press); The Poverty of Theory, by E.P. Thompson (London) - essays including especially his attacks on Althusser);

            First wave of serious films about the Vietnam War, including Michael Cimino’s essentially pro-war The Deer Hunter, which wins best picture and best director, and the antiwar film Coming Home, which yielded the best actress award for Jane Fonda and best actor for Jon Voight. Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now follows the next year. (Almanac; Reunion)

 

1979-

January 1: U.S. recognizes the People’s Republic of China and the U.S. and China open full diplomatic relations. Deng visits U.S. immediately afterwards, and in an interview with Time magazine he says without qualification that he views the U.S. as part of the “united front against hegemonism.” He also encourages the U.S. to play more of a role in dealing with the “trouble” in Iran, to “punish” Cuba, etc. Also a communiqué from the recently concluded plenary session of the Chinese CP talks only of progress in building the “international united front against hegemonism” - thus dropping even the formality of the formulation of a “united front against the two superpowers” in which the Soviet Union has been, at least since 1975 or so (see Hinton in May 5, 1976 Guardian cited above) the “most dangerous superpower” or “main enemy.” During Deng’s visit, the RCP sponsors militant protests in Washington and their January 29 action result in felony charges against 17 demonstrators, including RCP chair Bob Avakian, who flees and goes underground rather than face jail; he goes to France arriving there December 21, 1980. (Organizer, February and March 1979; Against Left Internationalism OCIC pamphlet published December 1979, see page 56, BTr-2; Revolution October-November 1979; Harding p. 157 cites authoritative CPC defense of China’s strategy of a united front with the U.S. from Red Flag, November 29, 1978; Fields)

January 16: Shah of Iran flees after a year of mounting rebellion; on February 1 Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini returns from exile; there is heavy fighting between both Islamic and left rebels and the Shah’s troops in early February, as well as huge demonstrations of millions. The old government is overthrown and Khomeini’s government is installed February 11, though for a time a situation of semi-dual power emerged briefly, between the Provisional Government and the Islamic Revolutionary Council, which in fact is dominant. In a series of steps through 1979 and the spring of 1980 (including the hostage-taking at the U.S. Embassy November 2-4, 1979) the Khomeini-led forces consolidate political power, and repression steadily intensifies against the left. Especially after the Iraqi invasion of September 1980, the regime gains even more initiative and in a “mini-civil war” which peaks in spring and summer 1981 most of the left is  physically and politically decimated, the final blow coming in 1983 when the Tudeh party, which had been largely supportive of the regime, is repressed with many executed. (NLR #166; Organizer March & December, 1979; Almanac; Second Cold War)

January: Commandantes from the three factions of the Sandinistas (Proletaros, Guerra Popular Prolongada, and Tercistas) form a united nine-person directorate and prepare for the final year’s struggle against the regime. (Central America)

Late January/early February: China invades Vietnam to “punish” the Vietnamese for their victory in ousting Pol Pot and their alliance with the USSR, but China’s forces are beaten back and dealt a military defeat by the Vietnamese. The U.S. had been informed ahead of time - on Deng’s visit to Washington - that China was planning such a move. (Second Cold War; Karnow)

February 11: Wilfred Burchett resigns from the Guardian over their stand on Vietnam-China-Kampuchea and the way they edited his articles on the topic. (letter of resignation in BTr-3)

February 24: Publication of The War in Indochina pamphlet by Irwin Silber; first independently published material by the emerging but still secret “rectification network” that will later become Line of March. (self published material in BLM-5)

February: Carter resumes arms sales to Morocco, the weapons are used in the war against the Polisario guerrillas fighting for the independence of the Western Sahara. (Second Cold War)

March 13: The New Jewel Movement, which had been founded in 1973, takes power in Grenada amid a popular uprising against the Eric Gairy regime. (James; NLR #131/Jan-Feb 1982)

March 25: According to the SCEF newspaper Southern Struggle, a shoot-out takes place on this date when members of the RCP allegedly fire on SCEF members and tenants at the Capitol Homes housing site in Atlanta. (Southern Struggle, March-April 1979)

March 28: Tories win British election and Margaret Thatcher becomes Prime Minister. (Almanac)

March 28: Radiation release at Three Mile Island. Pennsylvania is worst nuclear accident in U.S. history. (Epstein)

March 30: Founding of the National Network of Marxist-Leninist Clubs by the former Guardian Club membership; Pamphlet Developing the Subjective Factor is published by NNMLC in May, first public statement of the “rectification” party building line. (self-published material in BLM-5)

March 31: First of three regional conference held by the OCIC to debate and affirm its demarcation with ultra-leftism over “Point 18”: “ U.S. imperialism is the main enemy of the peoples of the world.” This West Coast conference is followed by an East Coast regional on April 7 and a Midwest conference on April 14. There is sharp struggle with PUL-linked groups but the delegates representing the vast majority of the OCIC vote to uphold Point 18 as a key point of demarcation. (“Point 18” & other self-published material in BTr-2)

May: The RCP initiates a weekly newspaper, the Revolutionary Worker, consolidating 19 local workers papers such as The Milwaukee Worker and others of that type. (Revolution April 1979)

May (June?): Second session of China’s Fifth National People’s Congress rehabilitates Liu Shaoqi and explicitly evaluates the Cultural Revolution as a bad experience and disaster for China, even termed a “feudal fascist dictatorship of the most corrupt and sinister kind.” (Trial)

June: "Rank and File Caucus” of IS leaves, arguing that “the IS is shattered as an organization”; forms Workers Power, and then launches first version of Against the Current magazine in 1980. (Solid-IS History)

June 27: Supreme Court overturns lower court rulings in the Weber case and affirms the legality of the affirmative action program/consent decree in this narrow situation where there is extensive proof of “traditional segregation.” it is a limited victory. (NCOBD, NAROC and related material in BLM-4 and BMOV-2; Organizer, July 1979)

June: Presidents Carter and Brezhnev sign the SALT II agreement in Vienna, but it is soon clear the U.S. Senate will refuse to ratify the treaty, with huge propaganda outpouring about a “Soviet Combat Brigade” “discovered” in Cuba among other items. Also in June Carter flies to Seoul to toast dictator President Park Chung Hee (who is assassinated four months later), reneging on his pledge to withdraw all U.S. ground forces from the Korean Peninsula. These and other developments, such as the decision this same month to develop and deploy the MX missile, but especially the decision by NATO to “re-equip” or “modernize” in December (including decision to accept new U.S. nuclear missiles - the Euromissiles - on West European soil, before the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, covered by the smokescreen of a “two-track” policy offering negotiations with the Soviets for a “zero-option” - no U.S. or Soviet intermediate nuclear missiles at all in Europe), indicate that the U.S. has abandoned “detente” with its reluctant acceptance of military-nuclear (strategic) parity with the Soviets, in favor of another attempt at superiority. In any case, the Soviets appear to be convinced that this is the case. The Medvedevs identify these steps as the end of the second of the “interludes of comparative sanity” in the Cold War, “both initiated on the Soviet side,” this one “Brezhnev’s strategy of detente (1971-79).” Halliday identifies this period as the beginning of the U.S. mobilization of “The Second Cold War” (Medvedevs in NLR #130/Nov-Dec 1981; Appeal, Autumn 1979; Magri in NLR #131; Halliday in NLR #180/March-April 1990; NLR #168/March-April 1988; Coates in NLR #145; Second Cold War)

July 19: Sandinistas take power in Nicaragua; Somoza had fled to Miami two days earlier. Fourteen months later, Somoza is assassinated in Paraguay September 17, 1980. The first two years of Sandinista power show impressive social gains: in 1980 a mass literacy campaign reduces illiteracy from 50 to 13%, in 1981 a health care campaign reduces infant mortality 40% from pre-revolutionary figures. There is also political conflict within the broad front which had united against Somoza, and non-FSLN members of the original post-July 19 junta leave to go into opposition, forming the Nicaraguan Democratic Coordination (CDN) in 1980, which brings together several political parties, the Superior Council of Private Enterprise (COSEP), La Prensa newspaper and important sections of the Catholic Church hierarchy. The CDN maintains a de facto but unacknowledged alliance with the armed contras who are soon organized by the CIA. (Central America; Intervention)

July: China closes the Voice of People’s Thailand radio station on its soil as part of its diminishing support for Asian Maoist movements; the station continues with a weaker transmitter in Thailand. In June 1981 the Voice of the Malayan Revolution station undergoes the same fate. (Harding)

August: 30th National Convention of SWP adopts a resolution directing “a large majority of the membership” to find industrial jobs: “the turn.” Resolution on Cuba begins the open shift of the party from orthodox Trotskyism toward what it’s critics called “Castroism.” and over the next four years big struggles break out that result in major splits and expulsions - leading to the 1983-1984 formation of Socialist Action, the Fourth Internationalist Tendency, and a circle of activists who will help initiate the North Star Network - and  severely diminishing the size of the SWP. The membership decline had actually begun in 1977, and the SWP went from its post-World War II height of 1,690 members in that year to 885 in 1984. See also November Congress of Fourth International below. (Inside the SWP; also fact sheet on SWP membership in D-5)

August: Vice-President Walter Mondale visits Beijing and the U.S. and China sign a secret agreement under which China permits the U.S. to install an electronic listening facility in Sinkiang Province on the Soviet frontier. Defense Secretary Brown follows with the visit in January 1980 to discuss further military agreements. (Second Cold War)

September 1-3: OCIC’s Second National Conference, which sums up the OC’s first year and lays the groundwork for the “Campaign Against White Chauvinism.” (self-published material in BTr-2)

September 10: The four Puerto Rican Nationalists still imprisoned - Lolita Lebron, Rafael Cancel Miranda, Irvin Flores and Oscar Collazo - leave prison unrepentant after Carter commutes their sentences to time served; one of the original five, Andres Figueroa Cordero, had been released earlier due to having cancer and had died March 7, 1979. (The Call, September 17, 1979)

September: BACU merges into the RWH. (RWH/BACU Merger Statement in D-10)

September: Sixth Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement held in Havana, successfully defeating efforts of U.S., China and pro-Western countries within the movement to cancel or undermine the meeting and particularly to prevent Cuba from playing the pivotal host  role. The U.S. propaganda barrage about a “Soviet Combat Brigade” “discovered” in Cuba was part and parcel of this effort (and the general effort to build support for a second cold war. But the Camp David Accord is condemned, Pol Pot regime is not seated (neither is the new government), and Fidel becomes chair of the Movement for the next period. (Singham in Black Scholar July-August 1980; Seventh Summit; Second Cold War)

September: Congress, with the Senate at this point “the most hawkish body in government,” passes a defense appropriations bill for FY 1980 which adds $35 billion to the sum requested by Carter. (Second Cold War)

September: Revolutionary Communist League (RCL), up to 1976 the Congress of Afrikan Peoples-CAP, merges into LRS. (Unity, October 5-18, 1979; Forward No. 3).

September/October: Conference called by SCLC in Norfolk, Virginia leads to the formation of the National Anti-Klan Network (NAKN) in a period of rising Klan activity and racist violence, including a Klan march in summer 1979 from Selma to Montgomery under the slogan “Turn the Clock Back.!” Many left and communist activists participate in the new group. (Southern Fight-Back Vol. 4, No. 4 in NAKN file BLM-4; ERC)

October 14: First National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights ten years after the Stonewall uprising draws up to 100,000. (CrossRoads Nos. 30 & 42)

October: The National Committee to Overturn the Bakke Decision - which after the Bakke decision evolved from a coalition into a smaller activist group - merges with a few local anti-racist committees centered by activists in and around the “rectification network” to form the National Anti-Racist Organizing Committee/NAROC. (NAROC material in BLM-4)

October: WVO holds Congress to found Communist Workers Party; Jerry Tung is general secretary. (Road; self published material in BNCM-6)

October: Military junta takes power in El Salvador with an agenda of full-scale war against the growing popular insurgency and its supporters. The civilian members of the junta resign in January 1980 due to increased repression. The repression and civil war led to the largest migratory wave in Salvadoran history as over the next decade one-fifth of the Salvadoran populations leaves the country; by the early 1990s there are one million Salvadorans in the U.S., 90% arriving after 1979. The initial wave of immigrants in the early 1980s are key motive force in the solidarity movement, with their first national action being a 17-day Walk-a-Thon from New York to D.C. in summer 1983. (Intervention; CrossRoads No. 40)

November 2-4: Iranian student militants seize the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and hold hostages. (In October, the Shah had been allowed to come to the U.S. from his Mexico exile for medical treatment, though U.S. officials knew this would provoke Iran.) Two days after the students seized the embassy, the Barzagan government resigned and Ayatollah Khomeini and his Revolutionary Council took direct control of the country. Khomeini proclaimed support of the students and demanded the return of the Shah and billions in money he had stolen. (Almanac; Organizer December 1979)

November 2: Assata Shakur escapes from the Clinton Correctional Institution for Women in New Jersey, allegedly with assistance from BLA members and white supporters from the PFOC/May 19 milieu. She goes underground and surfaces in Cuba, where she still lives. (Weather; May 19 material in BREV-3; Patterson; Burning Spear December 1979)

November 3: Greensboro massacre: Jim Waller, Cesar Cauce, Bill Sampson, Sandy Smith and Mike Nathan, CWP members and supporters, are killed by police-assisted Klansmen and Nazis. Widespread protests, and conflicts within the protest movement over the ultra-left slogans and tactics of the CWP: “Avenge the CWP 5” slogan and carrying unloaded weapons at the funeral procession the week after the murders. (CWP self-published material in BNCM-6; NAROC and other material in NAROC folder in BLM-4)

November 6: Announcement of the formation of the Workers Party - soon called the Democratic Workers Party - as a merger of the Workers Party for Proletarian Socialism and an affiliated mass organization, the Rebel Worker Organization. Marlene Dixon is general secretary of the group, which is based in the San Francisco Bay Area and has a history of  sharp, sometimes violent, conflicts with other activists. The announcement is held on election day in San Francisco when a Tax the Corporations Initiative of the DWP-s main front group, the Grassroots Alliance (GRA) is on the ballot. The 1978-1980 period, during which the GRA puts three initiatives on the SF ballot, is the height of the DWP’s mass activism after which it begins to decline. (DWP History; DWP Dissolution; self-published material in BNCM-3 & BNCM-4)

November 7: Founding of the Bolshevik League of the U.S. by the U.S. Leninist Core and Demarcation, small circles whose roots go back to the “revolutionary wing”; the new group condems all other parties and trends (pro-Soviet, pro-China, or pro-Albania) as revisionist and social chauvinist. In summer 1980 an international meeting of six parties of this tendency is held. (Bribery; Bolshevik Revolution No. 1; self-published material in BNCM-2)

November: Fifth World Congress (since reunification in 1963) of the Fourth International. In main report Mandel says: “the central idea in our analysis...is that there has been a change in the overall class relationship of forces after 1975 to the detriment of imperialism.” The majority decides that new opportunities are opening up in the industrial proletariat and calls for a “turn” toward industry. Positions of SWP re: Nicaragua (& implicitly, Cuba) are not in the majority. See also August SWP convention above. (Fourth)

December 12: NATO decision at its Brussels meeting  to “modernize” including deployment of cruise and Pershing II missiles in Europe while offering a “two-track” negotiation smokescreen to the Soviets - see June entry above. (Medvedevs in NLR #130/Nov-Dec 1981; Appeal, Autumn 1979; Magri in NLR #131; Halliday in NLR #180/March-April 1990; NLR #168/March-April 1988; Coates in NLR #145; PCI)

            December 27: Soviet troops go into Afghanistan, remove strongman Hafizullah Amin (who had ousted and executed former head of state Taraki in September), and begin battling anti-government insurgents. In his State of Union message January 23, 1980 Carter proclaims the “Carter Doctrine” justifying U.S. military intervention wherever needed “to protect Middle East oil” and marking a major public turn in U.S. foreign policy (which head been shifting less publicly for some time - see above), putting the nail in the coffin of the already all-but-officially-dead period of “detente” and beginning the “Second Cold War” and  the attempt to “put the Vietnam Syndrome behind us.” (Afghanistan; Organizer February 1980; Hobsbawm; MR September 1981; Medvedevs in NLR #130/Nov-Dec 1981; Second Cold War; Bolshevik Revolution No. 2)

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            China establishes fraternal ties with the “Eurocommunist” Italian CP (NCM-MS)

            Beginning of crisis and collapse of CP(ML): Daniel Burstein report in spring, posing “crisis of Marxism” idea; following his 1978 trip to China and Kampuchea (see The Call, May 22, 1978 for his glowing report of the situation in Kampuchea, where he and three other Call journalists were the first U.S. people to visit since the Khmer Rouge took power; Burstein visits Kampuchea again in early 1980 - The Call, March 10, 1980), there is accelerating criticism of leadership from the base - first self-criticism for sectarianism is in The Call November 13, 1978. and The Call June 11, 1979 writes of “inner-Party struggle that has been going on for several months” (cited in Bribery). A Nationalities Conference is held in spring 1978 (according to The Call, July 17, 1978 - with articles from it in Class Struggle #11 published Winter 1979), with some success, but the criticisms continue. Divisions in the leadership, Dan Burstein resigns repudiating Marxism-Leninism in the second half of 1980. There is an Emergency Conference in 1980 or 1981 where more Central Committee members resign; Klonsky resigns as chair in January 1981; a formal Second Congress is held some time in 1981 - NCM-MS says spring. By the end of 1981 the organization is dead, though The Call is published erratically for another year with the help of folks from the RWH. At some point early in the development of the CP(ML)’s crisis, the CP(ML) tried to put more energy into the idea of a “Committee to Unite Marxist-Leninists (CUML)” (which it had first suggested in December 1977, when it held the initiative within the pro-China wing of the NCM) and held occasional discussions about unity with LRS and its predecessor groups (see The Call, May 8, 1978), BACU (before it merged into RWH) and RWH, but the CUML never got off the ground. In early 1979 there was also a trip to China by representatives of CP(ML), LRS, RWH, PUL, BACU and other “pro-China” collectives as part of the efforts to build unity among all those who supported the CPC and the Three Worlds Theory, but the Chinese do not press the groups to unite although they effectively withdraw the idea (as does CP(ML) itself) that the CP(ML) is “the” party in the U.S. (Davidson; Forward Nos. 1 & 5; Burstein; NCM-MS; Bribery; RWH Merger Statement; PUL article in Class Struggle #13; Fields; The Call, May 1, 1978).

            U.S. Peace Council, with CP activists in pivotal positions, is founded. (Myerson/Peace)

            UAW contract with Chrysler is the watershed in entering the “era of concessionary bargaining” by U.S. trade unions. (NLR #145)

            Striking workers at Coors Beer in Denver call a boycott because the company refuses to negotiate. Coors, a big backer of right-wing causes, becomes a major boycott and propaganda target of labor and also the lesbian/gay community over the next several years. (Appeal Vol. 5, No. 4)

            FLOC, led by former migrant worker Baldemar Velásquez, leads a walkout from the Ohio tomato fields that becomes the largest agricultural strike in Midwest history. After a six-year boycott against Campbell Soup Co. and Libby’s, FLOC wins decent contracts. (Chicano)

            Lane Kirkland succeeds retiring George Meany as head of the AFL-CIO (Green; NLR #155)

            Hip Hop begins to get nationwide and “crossover” attention: the Sugar Hill Gang’s Rapper’s Delight makes #4 on the R&B charts selling two million and catapulting rap into broad popular culture. Afrika Bambaataa and the Soul Sonic Force’s Planet Rock rap album (1983) and Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five’s The Message (1982) are especially influential in the wave of rap that follows, and Run-D.M.C. release the first million-selling rap album in 1984. In the same period break dancing and Hip Hop culture generally are featured in the low-budget independent film Wild Style by Charlie Ahearn (1983) and the blockbuster Flashdance directed by Franca Pasut (1983), and then in Beat Street, directed by Stan Lathan but put together by Harry Belafonte (1984) and Breakin’ directed by Joel Silberg also in 1984). (RA Vol. 19, No. 6; Rock & Roll)

            Publication of Al Szymanski’s Is the Red Flag Flying?: The Political Economy of the Soviet Union Today (Westport; & Zed Press, London) (see note in 1977 section). Also, the RCP publishes a spoof issue of The Call: People of the World Unite to Defend U.S. Imperialism mocking the CP(M-L)’s stance toward Iran, NATO, European action in Zaire, etc. (spoof in D-10)

            Publication of Michel Aglietta, A Theory of Capitalist Regulation (New Left Books, London) - key work of the “French Regulation School.”; Sara Evans, Personal Politics: The Roots of Women’s Liberation in the Civil Rights Movement & the New Left (Alfred A. Knopf, New York); Dick Cluster (Editor), They Should Have Served That Cup of Coffee: Radicals Remember the ‘60s (Boston, South End Press); Vida, a novel by Marge Piercy (Simon & Schuster)

            Release of anti-nuclear power film, The China Syndrome, directed by James Bridges, a few months before the Three Mile Island disaster in March; also Martin Ritt’s Norma Rae, for which Sally Field won best actress Academy Award.

 

1980-

            January 1: COUSML sponsors the Founding Congress of the Marxist-Leninist Party (MLP). (self-published material in BNCM-2)

            January: Formal founding of the West German Green Party after several years of local and regional electoral and other efforts. Petra Kelly chairs the party from 1980 to 1983.  (NLR #152/July-August 1985; CrossRoads No. 27)

            February 2: 8,000 demonstrate against Klan/Nazi violence in Greensboro, North Carolina after a nationwide mobilization centered by the NAKN, despite major government efforts to prevent the action. There is considerable conflict within the NAKN and anti-racist movement over the tactics of the CWP, which is eventually expelled from the executive committee anchoring the march. There are smaller demonstrations in other cities. (NAROC and other material in BLM-4)

            February 23-29: Fifth Plenary Session of the CPC 11th Central Committee rehabilitates Liu Shaoqi and deepens criticism of the Cultural Revolution. (The Call, March 17, 1980)

March 14: Allard Lowenstein is shot and killed in his law office in Manhattan by Dennis Sweeney, who had been one of the founders of the Resistance and had later gone insane. (Spoke)

            March 24: Archbishop Oscar Romero is assassinated by a right wing death squad in El Salvador. One week later the U.S. approves $5.7 million in military aid. The next month, more than 50 organizations join together in the Democratic Revolutionary Front (FDR). (CISPES; Central America)

            April 15: Jean-Paul Sartre dies at age 74. (The Call, May 5, 1980)

April 17: Victory in Zimbabwe as the country becomes formally independent from Britain under the leadership of Robert Mugabe and his ZANU-Patriotic Front party, which had won the elections of February 29. The result of a long armed struggle by ZANU and ZAPU allied in a Patriotic Front, formally independence comes through a Commonwealth-negotiated agreement. (Second Cold War)

April: Kwangju massacre in South Korea, the dictatorship killing hundreds after demonstrations against oppressive rule, with the U.S. commander in the region releasing Korean troops under his command to assist in repression against the insurgent population. (Second Cold War)

            April: Appeal for European Nuclear Disarmament launched in London, a step toward the huge anti-nuclear mobilizations which will sweep West Europe in fall 1981 through 1983. Likewise, E.P. Thompson’s influential essay and call to action, “Notes on Exterminism, the Last Stage of Civilization,” appears in the May-June 1980 New Left Review (#121) and is reprinted in the collection Exterminism and Cold War, edited by New Left Review (London, Verso, 1982).  (NLR #168/March-April 1988)

            Spring: Ted Kennedy conducts a major but unsuccessful challenge from the left to sitting president Jimmy Carter in the Democratic primaries. And reflecting the heightened power of the New Right, Reagan sweeps to victory over George Bush (whom he later chooses for vice-president) and others on the Republican side. (Line of March No. 3; Glick)

            May 18-19: Mass uprising in Liberty City, Miami’s major Black ghetto, after the acquittal of police who had beaten to death Arthur McDuffie, a Black insurance executive, the previous December. Arguably the “most devastating social uprising” to that point in U.S. history, with $50-100 million in property damage, many killed, vigilante actions by whites and police, etc. Background of unprosecuted police killings (Janet Reno was Dade County DA) and also gross disparity in treatment of Cuban vs. Haitian refugees. (Marable in Black Scholar July-August 1980)

            May: Intensification of mass and armed struggle in the Philippines. NPA shifts from “early” to “advanced” stage of “strategic defensive”; May 1 Movement (KMU) workers organization formed in Manila with over half a million members; NDF is the main pole in anti-Marcos activity in cities and the countryside. (NDF..Lead in Domingo-Viernes School folder BREV-2)

            May: Honduras assumes its appointed role as U.S.-supported and financed bulwark of the counter-revolution in Central America. The Honduran Army carries out its first joint operation with the Salvadoran Army, closing the border and allowing 600 refugees to be killed by the Salvadoran military. Honduras also acquiesces as a large force of former Somocista National Guardsmen, the core of the future contras, set up camps along the country’s southern border with Nicaragua. Meanwhile, U.S. Maoist groups continue to denounce “Soviet expansionism” in Central America: “the growing independence of the Latin American countries is being endangered by the expansionism of an aggressive and ascending new imperialist power, the Soviet Union. Soviet penetration of Latin America is quite widespread...Cuba remains one of the chief vehicles for Soviet infiltration...the Cuban-backed 1979 coup in Grenada...Cuba is trying to subvert the Nicaraguan revolution...”(Intervention; Central America; Unity, March 14, 1980 quoted in Frontline, January 21, 1985)

            May-June: First issue of Line of March journal; activists in the “rectification network” begin to be known by the name Line of March. (Line of March No. 1)

            June 13: Walter Rodney, cofounder of the Working People’s Alliance in Guyana and author of How Europe Underdeveloped Africa, an opponent of the repressive regime of Forbes Burnham, is assassinated. (James; Black Scholar July/August 1980)

June 26-29: The National Black United Front (NBUF) is formed at a conference in New York City which draws over 1,000. The core of the new group are activists in existing local Black United Fronts especially in New York; Cairo, Illinois; the United League of Mississippi; Philadelphia; Boston; Portland; the Bay Area, and elsewhere. Rev. Herbert Daughtry of New York is chosen chair. (FM January 1982; NBUF/RO; BL-BL)

            July 8: Cathlyn Platt Wilkerson, former leader of the Weather Underground and present at the townhouse explosion at her parents house in 1970, turns herself in to authorities in New York. Mark Rudd, who had drifted away from the WUO, had surrendered in September 1977 and other lesser known WUO members had done so during 1977 and 1978. Bernardine Dohrn and Bill Ayers turn themselves in December 3, 1980. Jeff Jones and his partner Eleanor Raskin are arrested in October 1981. Most heavy charges against these activists are dropped and they serve little or no time in jail. Meanwhile, in 1978-79, a different tendency within the WUO/PFOC milieu forms the May 19 Communist Organization. (New York Times July 9, 1980 and other material in BREV-3; Weather)

            July: Carter signs Presidential Decree 59, ratifying the “counterforce” approach to nuclear strategy (preparation to fight and win a “limited” nuclear war, especially by targeting “military targets” rather than cities, as opposed to the “Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD)” or deterrent strategy). First enunciated as a possibility by then-Defense Secretary Robert McNamara in 1962, officially propagated by then Defense Secretary James Schlesinger in 1974, this signing makes the approach official policy, though not the sole policy shaping military planning. (Second Cold War)

August 2-3: Final Conference of the “transformed” Northern California Alliance, which over the next year becomes the scaffolding for the Line of March Labor Commission officially formed in summer 1981. (self-published material in BREV-2 and BLM-1)

August 9-10: “Peoples Convention” held on Charlotte Street in the Bronx just before the August 11 opening of the Democratic National Convention at Madison Square Garden, sponsored by the “Coalition for a Peoples Alternative (CAPA)” initiated by the People’s Alliance. It endorses "The Declaration of Charlotte Street." CAPA succeeds the Peoples Alliance but also develops no momentum (Glick; CAPA folder in D-9)

August: Third World Women’s Alliance, linked to the emerging Line of March, sets its task as “reforging the U.S. women’s movement on the basis of anti-racist and anticapitalist politics,” admits whites to membership and changes its name to the Alliance Against Women’s Oppression. (AAWO; Frontline, July 25, 1983)

August: Gdansk shipyard strike and formal agreement between the striking workers and the government August 31 marks the beginning of the open rise of Solidarity in Poland and the lengthy Polish crisis, temporarily resolved with declaration of martial law and banning of Solidarity in December 1981. The AFL-CIO, Vatican and many right-wingers in the West give material and ideological support to Solidarity, as do many elements of the left. The crisis in Poland obviously adds to the strains in U.S.-Soviet relations as well. This crisis in particular also served as a pretext for the U.S. to intensify pressures on West European countries, especially Germany, to back out of an agreement to build a new pipeline to ship Soviet natural gas to the European Economic Community (EEC), which would increase European dependence on Soviet resources and also weaken the position of U.S. energy companies in Europe. (Inside the SWP, p. 171; MR November 1980; Second Cold War)

            Summer: Summer issue of Class Struggle, theoretical journal of the CP(ML), carries an interview with chair Mike Klonsky in which he states that the U.S. has a role to play in the worldwide anti-hegemonic front. During this year the CL(ML) newspaper The Call writes about a Soviet “master plan for conquest.” Going even further, a pamphlet published this year, Sooner or Later authored by the Communist Unity Organization (New Outlook press, Cambridge, Massachusetts), makes the most explicit Maoist call yet for an alliance with U.S. imperialism in the “world anti-hegemonist front,” with opposition to “appeasement” or withdrawal of U.S. bases from the Philippines or Puerto Rico, support for a strengthened U.S. military, etc. (Sooner or Later; Class Struggle No. 13; Line of March No. 2).

September 19: Iraq invades Iran, beginning of long and bloody Iraq-Iran war, which will end in 1988. Iraq is encouraged - and armed - by the U.S. and other Western powers who hope to weaken the Iranian revolution. (NLR #166; Almanac; Frontline various issues)

October 14: Large anti-union march in Turin amid a major employer offensive forces a big defeat on the Italian labor movement: “The epoch that began with the Hot Autumn of 1969 ended in the autumn of 1980,” Fiat and other corporations reassert the control over the labor force and production process they had lost in 1969. A similar confrontation and outcome to the Thatcher government’s defeat of the British miners strike in 1984-85. (NLR #153/Sept-Oct 1985)

            October: Final issue of The Black Panther newspaper. (Abron in Underground)

            October: Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES) is founded. The next month El Salvador’s five revolutionary organizations (FPL, PCS, PRTC, ERP, RN) unite to form the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front/FMLN. Many expect the “Salvadoran Revolution” to be a matter of weeks or months at this point. Instead, the struggle is stalemated and becomes a main axis of hemispheric and U.S.-solidarity-foreign-policy politics for the next decade. At its height, CISPES consisted of over 300 chapters and affiliates around the country; in 1988-89 it had 100 paid and unpaid full-time organizers and at one time or another it had 72,000 donors. (CISPES; CrossRoads No. 40; Central America)

            October: Edward Seaga outs Michael Manley (“the Socialist International’s most important representative in the Third World”) and the PNP from power in Jamaican elections. (NLR #128)

November 4: Reagan beats Carter as well as John Anderson - and Barry Commoner of the short-lived left-wing Citizen’s Party - in the presidential election. The period soon becomes characterized as the “rise of Reaganism,” paralleling the rise of “Thatcherism” in Britain following the 1979 election there. Reagan’s openly announced program is to launch an all-out offensive to “increase America’s strength” - meaning to seek strategic superiority over the USSR, stop and roll back revolution in the Third World, and increase corporate profits by a full-scale assault on peoples of color, labor and the poor at home. (Almanac; various Line of March, Monthly Review, New Left Review et al; Second Cold War)

November 21-23: Founding Convention of the National Black Independent Political Party. (NBIPP), which grew out of the long dormant National Black Political Assembly, with 1,300 in attendance. The first regular conference of NBIPP is held in August 1981. (NBUF/RO; NAROC material in BLM-4; FM January 1982; Guardian external relations material in BTr-3; Workers World Nov. 28, 1980 in BNCM-5)

            November: Trial of the Gang of Four and seven others begins in China; they are found guilty and sentenced on January 25, 1981. (Trial).

December 5-7: “Eurosocialism and America: An International Exchange” conference held in Washington, D.C. with Willy Brandt, Francois Mitterand, Olof Palme and Tony Benn among others. “It is the first time in the history of this country that leaders of democratic socialism in Europe have come to the U.S. to discuss common problems” says Michael Harrington. A major boost to DSOC and “democratic socialism” in the U.S. (SDHx)

December 4: Four U.S. church women murdered by right wing death squad in El Salvador; the killings are a spur to a large faith-based solidarity movement in the U.S., especially among Catholic religious. (CISPES; Intervention; CrossRoads No. 40 - which says killings are December 2)

December 8: John Lennon assassinated in New York City (Almanac)

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            OCIC begins self-destructing with its “Campaign Against White Chauvinism.” Key paper “Racism in the PWOC” is dated May 8, 1980; Sharp struggles at regional and conferences and in local areas through the summer and fall of 1980; “Open Letter to the Party Building Movement” by dissidents is dated October 1, 1980; OC Steering Committee issues pamphlet “Racism in the Communist Movement” in December 1980. (self-published material in BTr-2)

            Earth First! a militant, anarchist-oriented environmental group is founded by Dave Foreman a dissident staff member of the Wilderness Society. (Radicalism)

            The Center for Third World Organizing (CTWO) is founded by former ACORN organizer Gary Delgado and Hulbert James. The CTWO-linked Applied Research Center is set up in 1981. (CTWO Times September-October 1985 in DB-3)

            Josep Broz Tito dies, succeeded by a rotating “collective presidency” in Yugoslavia. (Yugoslavia)

            Military coup in Surinam led by Lt. Col. Bouterse takes the country leftwards (at least initially) and is regarded as a danger by the U.S. (Halliday in NLR #141)

            Recession of 1979-1982 begins, this is the most severe recession since World War II, even deeper than the “turning point” downturn of 1974-75. It is worldwide and has a big impact on the ability of the debtor countries to deal with their debt and the ensuing “debt crisis” (for which see November 2, 1982 entry below). In the U.S., 1980 saw a GNP growth rate of zero, inflation was over 9%, unemployment was up to 7.5% and the average purchasing power of a U.S. family was 8.5% lower than 1976. On taking office in January 1981 the new Reagan administration’s policy aimed to “deepen the recession and at the same time launch a fierce attack on the trade union movement, thus bringing down the rate of inflation, greatly strengthening the position of capital vis-à-vis labor. Then the economy is stimulated by a huge peacetime military buildup and tax policies favoring the rich.” This recession and government policies initiate a new (or accelerated) period of corporate restructuring: downsizing, mergers, capital flight to the cheaper labor market areas & upped anti-labor campaigns; a pivotal step is Reagan’s naked busting of PATCO.  (CrossRoads No. 23; MR October 1989; Davis in NLR #149/Jan-Feb 1985; Gordon in NLR #168/March-April 1988; Second Cold War)

            Yet another decade of major demographic and social change: Confirming the rise of the Sunbelt, which was a power from the late ‘60s on, for the first time the population center of the U.S. lay west of the Mississippi River. (Wolfe in NLR #128) And there is a major shift in economic power from the Northeast and Midwest to the South, Southwest and West: “The 70s witnessed the most rapid and large-scale shift in economic power in American history.” (Davis in NLR #128)

            Southern African Development Coordination Conference (SADCC) is formed by nine African states to end economic dependence on South Africa. (Black Scholar, Nov-Dec 1987; Frontline, April 13, 1987)

Publication of Michael Goldfield and Melvin Rothenberg The Myth of Capitalism Reborn (Soviet Union Study Project, Line of March Publications, 1980) and Jerry Tung’s The Socialist Road (Cesar Cauce Publishers & Distributors, New York), which marks the CWP’s repudiation of the Capitalist Restoration Thesis. (also see note in 1977 section above); Post-Revolutionary Society, a collection of essays by Paul Sweezy (Monthly Review Press, New York); Todd Gitlin, The Whole World Is Watching: Mass Media in the Making and Unmaking of the New Left (Berkeley, University of California Press); Gary Delgado, Organizing the Movement: The Roots and Growth of ACORN (Temple University Press, Philadelphia); Harry C. Boyte, The Backyard Revolution: Understanding the New Citizen Movement (Temple University Press, Philadelphia); also, the egregious “Cold War novel” Spike by Robert Moss and Arnaud de Borchgrave (London) and the non-fiction “call to anticommunist arms” by Norman Podhoretz, The Present Danger (New York); Environmental Defense Fund, Malign Neglect (New York, Vintage)

 

End of Part Four

Part One, 1967-1970

Part Two, 1971-1974

Part Three, 1971-1974

Part Five, 1981-1992

Part Six, Source Reference Guide

  

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