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Dragon Teeth

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When we announced in the first issue of the SUN that we had changed the name of our party and had gone through a lot of changes about the kind of work we were doing, we mentioned that we had been discussing this change for a long time bef ore we finally made the decisión to name ourselves the Rainbow People's Party. Actually this internal discussion started after Pun andSip and Jack got captured last July 23rd, because that incident made us aware of som3very basic contradictions in the way we were doing things, and it forced us to realize that what we were doing was simply wrong. It wasn't just isolated incidents but our whole approach to the problem which was wrong, and once we began to understand that we began to understand why we were making so many mistakes and how they could possibly be corrected, The more we investigated our mistakes the clearer it becams tn us that they all stemmed f rom the same root - we were trying to deal with things now as if the situation hadn't changed since 1968 when we had first formed the party, and the problem was that things weren't the samo any mare, the whole situation had changed but we hadn't kept up with it, and consequently our activity couldn't have the results we hoped it would have, The miin problem was that we were still trying to "politicize" freeks and stir them up, whereas they were already stirred up and politicized not only by our political agitation but by the general politicization of the whole population - and particularly the youth colony - by the pólice and the reactionary politicians who direct the pólice in their daily activity. People were already ready to move, and what they needed wasn't a lot of slogans and rhetoric but som3 solid programs and the active assistance of people with experience in doing community self-determination work to guide and help thenio The other main thing was that we had always had the idea that "the revolution" was going to happen spontaneously and at once, like tomorrow or the day -well, next year at the latest--and that all of a sudden millions of people would just rise up and run out into the streets and tear everything down, off all the pigs, and then dance on into the new age where everything would be perfect and everybody would groove together forever. It would be like a big apocalypse after which the old order would magically transform itself into the New and everything would be free for everybody just like that. And in line with this, like I said, we saw our job as being like cheerleaders, going around and stirring people up so they would run out into the streets and "join the revolution" as soon as the apocalypse jumped off. We kept shouting "Off the Pigs" and "All Power to the People" and "Free All Political Prisoners" as if it was enough to spout soms slogans and feel real man and pretty soon ihe powerstructure would collapse in fear of us. I don't think we ever said it like that, but when I look back I can see that that's the way we feit, and our whole activity was based on those feelings which were a killer weak substitute for a revolutionary analysis and a revolutionary action program you know? We knew what was wrong with the way things were, but we didn't really have any working program, you know? We knew what was wrong with way things were, but we didn't really have any working program ror changing things to make them right, and where we did have a program tor change it was mostly down on paper and not to be found in our daily practice, which consisted mostly of woofing and hollering and pushing the "eve-of-the-revolution" ruse instead of getting down with the people and taking care of buiness so all of us could survive and grow together into a genuinely revolutionary community with a visible alternative social system cor serving our needst To make it even worse, we were doing this on a national basis instead of digging in where we were and working with people in our own community. We spent m jst of our tim? trying to get "chapters" going all over the country, which was doubly stupid because when we did get "chapters" opened up we didn't have anything solid to offer them or any programs that they could put into operation in their communities. They just did mare or less the same thing we were doing - hollering a lot and trying to get community service programs started on a sporadic, hit and miss basis without a solid organizational base f rom which to work. Then we tried putting out a national newspaper and running our ideas in it, which was a mistake finally because our ideas were wrong and we weren't really contributing anything that was im nïdiately useful to the people in terms of solving the problems they face in their daily struggle for survival. We fantasized all kinds of gradiose schemos for creating a "separate nation"of freeks in Amerika which we thought would becomt? a "eality just because we wanted it to, just because we said it would be real. We kept trying to correct our mistakes. but the more we tried the in ore nrstakes we made--our basic premises were wrong and nothing could work out righjntil we changed our baic approach to thg igyoblem The funny thing was that we thought we were getting more "revolutionary" all the tim.ï when actually we were just moving farther and farther away from real revolutionary activity. We thought "political" meant that you talked all kinds of "militant" rhetoric and tried to scare straight people and frighten the government by coming on real "bad" all the tin)'?, But all this did was play right into the governmnt's hands, and besides that, it didn't do the people one bit of good at all - it just led them, or tried to lead them in to a trap. All it did was separate us more and more f rom our own people and made it impossible to build any kind of mass moveni'ïnt either within the youth colony or among the broad masses of the people in the mother country, who we looked on essentially as "the enemy. " We failed to understand the first basic principie of revolution, which is that revolutions are made by the masses of the people united against their com-non enemy, which is the tiny ruling class or clique of greedhead "owners" who exploit and oppress all the people, som3 more than others but none less than too much. It was really far out when we started to understand all of this, and we looked back with horror on the stuff we had been saying and doing, because it was almost exactly the opposite of what was needed. We saw that even our nam? itself was wrong, that it only intimidated the people we wanted to win over, and besides it didn't carry any sense of the positive things we wanted our movemsnt to achieve„ What had been our greatest strength in the -our visión of the New World and the kind of lives people would be able to live once the octopus of imperialism "iad been deeapitated and dragged of the stage of history once and for -had been almost completely forgotten in our frenzy of vengence and phony mUitancy. and people didn't really get any sense of what we stood for beyond the image of fighting pigs in the street and stirring up trouble, which we weren't even doing! We weren't even practicing what we were preaching, and that was the farthest out thing of all. So we started trying to out to the root of our problema and started with the nam 3, the way our "organization" was set up, and the way we lived together with each other in our commune. (I say "we, " but Pun and I, who took part in this discussion all the way through, have been imprisoned throughout, and have been able to share in our comminal life only through letters and visits). Som'? people didn't agree with what we were doing and split, other people had to be asked to leave, somo new people cams in--but more than that we started reorganizing our most basic msthods of thinking and m'ïthods of work, starting with the housework, cooking, baby care, the economie work that pays the rent and buys the groceries, the decision-making process, and the way we try torelate to our own people. We decided to suspend publication of the national newspaper until we're ready to do organizing work on a national level, and we made up our mind to get this paper together for the people in the imni'Bdiate conrnunity so we could help get people together and keep them together, working with our closest brothers and sisters in Ann Arbor to build somï real people's institutions like the Tribal Council and the People's Committees which are just getting started now. Wnat we want to do m ore than anything right now is get back to our visión of the future---the Rainbow Nation which will rise out of the ruins of Babyion, a world in which all peoples can live together in peace and harmony, loving and sharing with each other and developing our human potential to its highest possible realization--and more than that, to start making that visión come true in reality and not just on paper, by building the kind of consciousness and the kind of institutions which wïïTprevail in the New World. We don't have any fantasies anymore about this visión coming true spontaneously or by maic--we know that it can only iiappen as a result of people living and working together to provide for their own needs and the needs of the conrnunity as a whole, and we know that it won't happen overnight either. It will com.? about as the result of a protracted struggle against imperialism and for the new total conminalism -hich is the only hope of humankind. We know that the imperialist octopus and its collaborators the vampires, rats, snakes and pigs will fight us every step of the way, but the only way we can finally emerge victorious is to unite as many people as possible around our visión of the New World and work together to support ourselves during the struggle and to créate the kind of society we m.?an to make available to all people once the im-n.-diate struggle is won. We know we won't get all the people together all at once, but we can start by getting ourselves together right her wïiere we are and moving together to unite with as many people as we can step by step, building as we go and defending what we have built until e„?rt se W[ visión of the Rainbow Nation. the nation to end all nations, conv to life. Because that visión is the most powerful thing we ! it s kepf. ..n„ alive lier e in the penitentiary for almost two years. it keeps Pun and Skip alive. it keeps all of us alive even though we are constantly surrounded by the biggest death machine in human history. And more life is what all of us need- LIFE TO THE LIFE CULTURE' fí???ZfR T THE PE0PLE OF THE FUTURE! LET IT GROW! LETITGROWü -jjq,. ■ M John Sinclair Chairman, Rainbow People's Party Jackson Prison, May 4, 1971 &taSeto-Íam: AlliSn DraUSe' Jeff MiUer' &ndra Lee Scheuer' Bül