From: Trotskyism and terror : the strategy of revolution (1977) by Congressman Lawrence Patton McDonald
Terrorist Activities in North America
There are two Trotskyite organizations in Canada. One of these, the League for Socialist Action/Ligue Socialiste Ouvrière LSA/LSO, supports the minority Leninist-Trotskyist Faction which believes terrorism may be a useful tactic in the future. The other, the Revolutionary Marxist Group, RMG, which has its principal base among French-speaking Canadians in Quebec, is a staunch supporter of the “terrorism now” International Majority Tendency.
During the 1970 wave of terrorism by the Front de Libération du Québec, FLQ, Canadian Trotskyites tried to maintain a low profile. They were embarrassed by the open support of terrorism in Canada by their British comrades in the International Marxist Group, IMG, and its publication, at that time called The Red Mole.
Joseph Hansen of the Socialist Workers Party described the problem of his Canadian comrades:
“While the Canadian Trotskyists were trying to differentiate their own position from the ultraleft one taken by The Red Mole, they were confronted by an even worse problem — what to do about the remarks made by Comrade Tariq Ali on a television panel filmed at Oxford by CTV, the national Canadian television network. This program was shown throughout Canada, while our comrades, like the rest of the left, were doing their best to mobilize a massive defense against the repression.
Some very provocative questions were directed at Comrade Ali. In answering, he did not appear to keep well in mind the situation in Canada and the need to help to the best of his ability in mobilizing a broad defense against the repression.
For instance, he was asked: “Do you believe, sir, that society today has reached the point where you see you have to use violence to achieve your ends?”
Comrade Ali replied: “I would say that this is largely a tactical question, depending precisely on the degree of opposition which we encounter in our struggle for socialism. But briefly, the answer is yes. I think that to achieve the ends we believe in ////////////// to the establishment of a socialist republic. I believe that a certain element of violence is absolutely necessary.”
Another provocative question was: “When you were president of the Oxford Debating Union did you not invite Governor Wallace of Alabama to speak at the Oxford Union?”
Comrade Ali answered: “Yes. Do you know why? Because we would have killed him.”
That did not come off so well, and Comrade Ali was soon explaining: “Of course, when I say, ‘Kill him,’ I don’t mean it necessarily literally. It’s a tactical question. If I believed we could get away with killing him we would. It is a question of if you are organized to do so. I don’t think we are. I meant kill him politically. That is what we wanted to do, but that wouldn’t have taken place because Wallace wouldn’t have got further past Oxford Station.”
The setting for broadcasting this TV program, it should be underlined, was Canada in the midst of a great police hunt for urban guerrillas charged with kidnapping and murder. It was shown on the television screens during a repression in which our own headquarters and the homes of many comrades were raided, and two of our leaders were thrown into prison.
Comrade Ali did what he could to turn the provocative questions into a high-level dialogue on the difference between “individual terror” with mass support and “individual terror” without mass support — a distinction a bit too fine, one must suppose, for the Canadian audience to appreciate at the moment. “At times,” he said, “1 think that individual terror becomes necessary. I don’t believe in individual terror as a principle; I am completely opposed to it. I’ll give you a concrete instance. I don’t believe in solving this particular argument by shooting off a few people, who are making rude noises. Nor do I think individual terror can in itself bring you any nearer to what we believe in. Of course not. I believe that individual terror is justified when you have a mass movement, when you have mass support inside a particular society, then it is justified.”
Tariq Ali serves on the Fourth International Executive Committee under the alias “Ghulam.”2 He receives his salary from a U.S. tax-exempt organization, the Transnational Institute, TNI, of the Institute for Policy Studies, IPS, located in Washington, D.C. Ali, a Pakistani, is reportedly “working on a series of essays on Indian nationalism and communism” for the Transnational Institute.3
The Institute for Policy Studies is a leftist think-tank which usually takes a pro-Soviet and pro-Cuban stance; and whose staff has included a variety of terrorist supporters and members of terrorist organizations. The Transnational Institute has offices both in Washington, D.C. and in Amsterdam, Holland. The TNI is headed by Eqbal Ahmad and a leading Castroite propagandist, Saul Landau.
On September 9, 1976, Basker Vashee represented the Transnational Institute of IPS at a congressional conference on southern Africa sponsored by the Fund for New Priorities in America. The conference was held in the Russell Senate Office Building. Vashee was identified to the audience by the conference moderator as “a member of the national executive of ZAPU.”1 ZAPU is the Zimbabwe African Peoples Union, a Soviet-supported terrorist group in Rhodesia headed by Joshua Nkomo.
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Author: McDonald, Lawrence Patton 1935-1983
Keywords: Communism, Trotskyism, Socialist Workers Party, terrorism
Publisher: Washington, D.C. : ACU Educational and Research Institute
Book contributor: dudeman5685
Notes: “The materials appearing here are reproduced from the Congressional Record, where Rep. McDonald published them at intervals beginning August 30, 1976, and concluding April 29, 1977”–P. 3.
An impressive collection of facts and quotes concerning the Socialist Workers Party, its foreign ties, and alleged connection to terrorism; the author, Congressman Lawrence Patton McDonald, later vanished when the domestic Boeing he was on, flight KAL 007, was shot down in Soviet air space after it reportedly went off-course.