Needless to say, with white authority on the side of the Nazis, Afro and Mexican brothers had a very hard time. George Jackson is not the only casualty on the side of the blacks. But their unity was maintained, and a majority of white prisoners either refused to support the Nazis or denounced them. So, even within prison walls the first principle to be observed was unity in struggle. Once the most oppressed had taken the initiative, then they could win allies.
The struggle within the jails is having wider and wider repercussions every day. Firstly, it is creating true revolutionary cadres out of more and more lumpen. This is particularly true in the jails of California, but the movement is making its impact felt everywhere from Baltimore to Texas. Brothers inside are writing poetry, essays and letters which strip white capitalist America naked. Like the Soledad Brothers, they have come to learn that sociology books call us antisocial and brand us criminals, when actually the criminals are in the social register. The names of those who rule America are all in the social register.
Secondly, it is solidifying the black community in a remarkable way. Petty bourgeois blacks also feel threatened by the manic police, judges and prison officers. Black intellectuals who used to be completely alienated from any form of struggle except their personal hustle now recognize the need to ally with and take their bearings from the street forces of the black unemployed, ghetto dwellers and prison inmates.
Thirdly, the courage of black prisoners has elicited a response from white America. The small band of white revolutionaries has taken a positive stand.
The Weathermen decried Jacksons murder by placing a few bombs in given places and the Communist Party supported the demand by the black prisoners and the Black Panther Party that the murder was to be investigated. On a more general note, white liberal America has been disturbed. The white liberals never like to be told that white capitalist society is too rotten to be reformed. Even the established capitalist press has come out with esposes of prison conditions, and the fascist massacres of black prisoners at Attica prison recently brought Senator Muskie out with a cry of enough.
Fourthly (and for our purposes most significantly) the efforts of black prisoners and blacks in America as a whole have had international repercussions. The framed charges brought against Black Panther leaders and against Angela Davis have been denounced in many parts of the world. Committees of defense and solidarity have been formed in places as far as Havana and Leipzig. OPAAL declared August 18th as the day of international solidarity with Afro-Americans; and significantly most of their propaganda for this purpose ended with a call to Free All Political Prisoners.
For more than a decade now, peoples liberation movements in Vietnam, Cuba, Southern Africa, etc., have held conversations with militants and progressives in the U.S.A. pointing to the duality and respective responsibilities of struggle within the imperialist camp.
The revolution in the exploited colonies and neocolonies has as its objective the expulsion of the imperialists: the revolution in the metropolis is to transform the capitalist relations of production in the countries of their origin. Since the U.S.A. is the overlord of world imperialism, it has been common to portray any progressive movement there as operating within the belly of the beast. Inside an isolation block in Soledad or San Quentin prisons, this was not merely a figurative expression.
George Jackson knew well what it meant to seek for heightened socialist and humanist consciousness inside the belly of the white imperialist beast.
International solidarity grows out of struggle in different localities. This is the truth so profoundly and simply expressed by Che Guevara when he called for the creation of one, two, three - many Vietnams. It has long been recognized that the white working class in the U.S.A is historically incapable of participating (as a class) in antiimperialist struggle. White racism and Americas leading role in world imperialism transformed organized labour in the U.S. into a reactionary force.
Conversely, the black struggle is internationally significant because it unmasks the barbarous social relations of capitalism and places the enemy on the defensive on his own home ground. This is amply illustrated in the political process which involved the three Soledad Brothers— George Jackson, Fleeta Drumgo and John Clutchette— as well as Angela Davis and a host of other blacks now behind prison bars in the U.S.A.
NOTE: George Jackson also authored Blood In My Eye which was published posthumously, or after this article was written.
Reappeared on Pan-African News Wire.