RPP ELECTION STATEMENT PART III
BUILDING A BASE IN ANN ARBOR
(Editor's Note: The past two issues #s 43 & 44 of the SUN have carried Part I and Part II of the Rainbow People's Party's Post-Election Statement, which attempted to analyze the 1972 presidential election and its implications for the next four years of Nixon's regime. This third and last installment deals with the local elections and their implications. Copies of the first two parts of the Post-Election Statement can be obtained at the SUN office in the Rainbow House at 1520 Hill Street here in Ann Arbor).
Part III: Building a Base in Ann Arbor:
The Human Rights Party
Turning to the local elections and their meaning for the progressive people of the Ann Arbor/Washtenaw County community, we find that the progressive trends evident in the national electorate were even more apparent in the local situation, where McGovern carried the county, Sheriff Douglas J. Harvey and Judge Sanford Elden (the county's two most reactionary officials) were decisively defeated, and a number of candidates running on decidedly progressive platforms (even though they ran as Democrats) were elected to state and local offices. At the same time, the failure of the Human Rights Party to win even one seat in the extremely few races it entered represents to us an unqualified failure on the part of that organization (as presently constituted) to link itself with the masses of people who constitute its primary base of support, and to reach out to the broad masses of people beyond that primary base who are ready to relate to a radical analysis of present social conditions and who are ready to relate the radical solutions proposed by such an analysis. We believe that it is the HRP and not the people who failed to act decisiveiy in this important electoral situation; more specifically, we believe that the narrow, selfinterested, and extremely short-sighted "leadership" element of the organized Human Rights Party demonstrated a colossal inability not only to link itself with the masses of people who were its potential supporters, but even to understand the political level of the masses of people in this community. Consequently, the HRP not only failed to win even one seat in the local and state elections (despite the fact that its candidates were favored to win in two county commissioner districts and in the state representative race as well), but it managed to undermine the base of support which had been built up during the spring election campaign at the same time, and its overall performance was so dismal that the reeling Democratic Party organization in Ann Arbor gleefully gained for itself a new lease on life and a new gaggle of illusions concerning its possibilities for survival in this advanced arena of political struggle which is Ann Arbor. Earlier this year, in the September 1-15 issue of the Sun (#39) we discussed what we termed the RIP-off of the Human Rights Party by a small clique of campus-radical intellectuals and social workers with a backwards, obsolete analysis of concrete social conditions in this community and the world as a whole; we pointed out that their backwards analysis had already led them to develop strategies which were bogus and out of touch with reality, and we predicted that their bogus strategies would lead them straight to defeat in the election. We withdrew the support and active participation of the Rainbow People's Party and its members from the Human Rights Party for the duration of the fall election campaign and "until it consciously recognizes that its base consists primarily - that is, first of all - of rainbow people, whether they're freeks on the street, students in the public schools and universities, the rainbow merchants around town, rock and roll bands, community service workers, or brothers and sisters who work for the honk one way or another in order to insure their survival; and until it consciously and consistently sets out with us to continue to organize this base until it's strong enough to support fully the platform and the programs of the HRP and to attract support and participation from other elements of the overall Washtenaw County community which are also righteously concerned with the question of people's power and how it is effected." Our purpose in withdrawing from the HRP was to expose "the ideas and practices of the ultra-leftists within the HRP. . .as incorrect and dangerous to the development of our community" so "that the party will willingly purge tself of this element and commit itself once again to the task of building a truly progressive Human Rights Party in Washtenaw County," and so "that the HRP will then be able to resume its speedy progress toward its stated goal of bringing effective political power to the people of this community." The outcome of the local elections makes one thing clear above all: that the engineers of the HRP campaign for the state representative and county commissioner seats, following their backwards social analysis and the bogus Strategies based in it, were pitifully unable to mobilize the support of enough people in this community. Even to win those races which should easily have gone to the HRP. With its potential base of support at a much higher level than in the spring due to the heavy registration of students who were determined to vote against Richard Nixon, and with an unprecedented voter turnout in the "student wards" (so vast that hundreds of sisters and brothers had to wait in line up to five hours just to cast their vote), this backwards clique of intellectuals managed not only to lose the election but also failed to add significantly to the numerical base which had been won in the spring elections when there was no major victory (such as the City Council victories) to inspire more people to vote for the Human Rights Party. This utter failure to consolidate and expand the base which had been created in the course of the spring elections is a much more dangerous development than the mere loss of an election, for the first principie of a mass electoral party must be constantly and consistently to increase its base of support and to build for the long run, even if it means losing in this or that election. As we said in our pre-election statement on the HRP, "It is not enough merely to elect "progressive" candidates to political office in this country; what is important is the establishment and development of a principled, mass-based alternative radical electoral party which can fully represent the interests of all the people who make up its actual and potential constituency, which can move with the full support of the people to elect candidates to office and then to guide them through their terms of office, and which can progressively unite more and more elements of the oppressed, powerless classes of people in this country. . ." At a time like this, when really large masses of rainbow people are just beginning to relate to the political process as a form of struggle they can participate in and which can serve their most immediate needs as living members of a community of people, the utmost seriousness is required of anyone who presumes to engage in a political dialogue with the people. The people's interest must be carefully nurtured, they must be led into a greater and greater commitment to radical social change through participation in the electoral process and in the other programs offered them by the out-front party of the people, and it is particularly important that the party adapt its policies and programs to the actual social conditions of the people it wishes to attract to its banner. The people's political potential is actually very great, but it can be realized only through the most careful direction and guidance on the part of the political activists in the community and their mass organizing vehicle, the radical electoral party. If the political activists fail to link themselves inextricably with the people who make up their potential constituency, which can only be done by responding directly and dramatically to the people's most immediate needs and desires as they present themselves and not as a bunch of radicals would have them be, their efforts in organizing a mass electoral party are doomed to failure. The recent "leadership" group within the HRP has failed most miserably precisely in this crucial area, and it is their failure to relate their HRP activity directly to the concerns of the masses of rainbow people who make up their primary constituency in the Ann Arbor community which makes their empty posturing so dangerous. What is even worse is that many many people who got turned on to the possibilities of a real Human Rights Party during the spring electoral campaign and afterwords, "people who were becoming increasingly enthusiastic supporters of the HRP, were immediately turned off to the HRP -- and to the possibility of participation in the political process -- as soon as the RIP remnants gained control of the party and began pursuing their vapid strategies. Our point is that the Human Rights Party is a serious proposition, not to be taken lightly or to be used as a post-graduate seminar in radical debating by various individuals whose interest in the welfare of the people in this community, and in the development of the community itself, is only a passing fancy. One of the most rabid of the ultra-leftist, psuedo-ideologues, for example, a man who played a central role in what we would call the betrayal of the promise of the HRP of last spring, passed into town from Wisconsin this summer, offered himself as a candidate for state representative, touched off a particularly vicious round of infighting within the general ultra-leftist/right-opportunist coalition ranks inside the HRP, lobbied vigorously in the best tradition of campus-radical "politics" for an especially obsolete (and in his case, especially abstract) social analysis, and will now leave town for Wisconsin once again with no concern for the havoc he has wreaked here in our community. Other prominent members of the HRP leadership clique, including a couple which has between the two partners run for City Council and State Representative in the past year (both were defeated), are reported to be looking for academic or social work positions in some other place as soon as it can be found. One HRP candidate for County Commissioner in the November election spent the entire summer vacationing somewhere before returning to town a day or two before the HRP convention and offering herself (at the urging of her colleagues) as a candidate for the very serious position of county commissioner. When asked just prior to the convention if she was going to run, she replied that she wasn't sure if she wanted to stay in Ann Arbor for the entire two-year term she was competing. Such practices are not only reprehensible for their rank personal opportunism (l'll run for office if I can win a seat and bask in the limelight, but if I lose l'll just pull up and go to another town somewhere") but more seriously for the effect they have on people in the community who are looking to organizations like the Human Rights Party for solutions to their problems. These are people who are engaged in a daily struggle for survival (not many people in the street have their rents paid by rich parents), who have very real problems with the police, the courts, other authorities, employers, and the rest of the rotten fabric of this racist weirdo society, and who are looking for ways to get rid of the creeps and institute some people's power and people's culture in the land of honk. These are people who watch the actions of political activists very closely, since they are themselves looking for some ways to get involved in the struggle, and they are quick to see through the many different kinds of bullshit thrown up by people who put themselves in the public eye. The first thing they see in situations like those described above is the lack of commitment to the community and its problems evidenced by the footloose campus-radical types who relate to political activism as some kind of game, or ego-trip, which can be kind of fun to get into for a while on their way to securing some kind of petty-bureaucrat or academic post for themselves wherever the "intellectual climate" seems grooviest. People in the community are also very much aware that campus-radical types take very little part in the life of the community, either in its formal institutions (the people's service projects and organizations such as the Community Park Program, the People's Ballroom, Ozone House, Drug Help, the Free People's Clinic, Tribal Network, the Communications Committee, etc.) or in its informal social life. Instead of reaching out to the people and attempting to link themselves ever more strongly with the masses by relating to the people's culture and the life of the community with all its daily problems and hassles, the campus-radical types seem bent on isolating themselves within a small circle of politically-acceptable friends who all share a common distaste for the people as they are and common affinity for abstract debates as a paramount form of political activity.
The essentially frivolous approach to politics is characteristic of intellectuals of all persuasions; within the HRP "leadership" clique it is common to both the ultra-leftists (that faction which is and has been associated with a national group of super-radical weirdos called the International Socialists -- IS -- and which constantly repudiates in theory and in practice the basic revolutionary principle that the activists must merge themselves with the people and deal with the people at their own level of consciousness rather than trying to impose some kind of "pure" radical thing on them, and to the right-opportunists (that faction which is willing to sacrifice some of the most basic principles of the organization -- for example, the ceaselessly-voiced commitment to eliminating the Democratic Party as a viable electoral force --in hopes of gaining support from "liberal Democrats" ' who would freak if the HRP ran against the "progressive" Democratic Party candidate for sheriff). We believe that the Human Rights Party and its present "leadership" has proved beyond a doubt that its analysis and the strategies which have flowed from it are incapable of advancing the HRP and the interests of the people it claims to represent; we believe that this "leadership" element is determined only to lead the HRP and its constituency down the dark road of political suicide if that course is dictated by its intellectual lusts; and we believe that the November election results bear the truth of our predictions as to the inevitable outcome of the stated analysis and strategies of the opportunistic ultra-leftist faction of the HRP which controlled the Human Rights Party campaign. We believe that these people have had their chance to prove the validity of their claim to leadership within the HRP, and that they have proved decisively and beyond a doubt that their "leadership" can only result in the death of the HRP as a viable political force in the Ann Arbor community. They were given every chance to carry out their bogus strategies, which included concentrating on the "glamor" race for state representative, refusing to support an all-out candidacy for the sheriff's office for fear that it might alienate their supporters among the "liberal Democrats" in town, repudiating their enthusiastic base of support in the Ann Arbor rainbow community on the grounds that rainbow people are not politically significant within the overall community, basing their campaign against progressive Democratic Party candidates not on the political differences between the parties concerning the basic issue in American politics - whether the people as a whole or a small clique of super-rich capitalists will control the means of production in this society - but on the procedural distinctions between the Democrats and the HRP as parties, an issue which is exceedingly meaningless to the masses of the people who make up the HRP's projected constituency and which is a phony issue anyway, since the campus-radical clique within the HRP is every bit as unprincipled and manipulative as its old-line counterpart in the Democratic Party. This faction was given full rein in its headlong attempt to impose its outdated views and strategies on the rest of the HRP and its potentially vast constituency; after the withdrawal of the Rainbow People's Party from participation in the fall election campaign there was little left to block its zealous drive for power within the party, and its weirdo strategies were officially adopted as the campaign program of the Human Rights Party. Now everyone has seen the results of that campaign for themselves, and there can be no question that it was a miserable failure in every respect. The intellectual/social-worker candidates and their intellectual/social-worker approach went down to total defeat, and the HRP's opportunistic maneuverings were so slimy and reprehensible during the course of the campaign that even many of their projected "liberal Democrat" supporters were turned off to the possibility of getting behind the dubious "alternative" proposed by the HRP.
FOUR MORE YEARS HERE IN ANN ARBOR
'This is not to say that we feel there is no future for the Human Rights Party in Ann Arbor; to the contrary, we believe that the HRP can and hopefully will experience tremendous growth once it reunites with the rainbow community in Ann Arbor and moves together with the people to increase and consolidate its base." -from the RPP pre-election statement (SUN #39)
Now that the November election results have demonstrated the utter vapidity of the ideas and strategies put forward by the ultra-leftist/right-opportunist faction within the present Human Rights Party, and now that their intellectualized absurdities have been pursued to their logical conclusion in the total defeat of the HRP and the concomitant shrinkage in the party's base of support, we urge these would-be leaders of the HRP to acknowledge their inability to lead the party on the correct path, the paucity of their obsolete social analysis and the uselessness of their petty political machinations, and we urge them even more strongly to step down from their positions of power within the party in order that the party might be free to develop new directions based on new thinking and a rejuvenated body of committed HRP workers who would work eagerly on building the party if it were moving in a correct direction. There can be no excuse for pursuing any further the incorrect and dangerous course laid out by the ultra-leftist HRP regulars and their right-opportunist allies within the HRP - given every chance to prove themselves right they decisively proved themselves wrong instead, and there can likewise be no excuse for their posing as sage political analysts and master strategists any longer. "Social practice is the sole criterion of truth," and practice has proved their theories wrong as can be. Given the condition of their failure, there can be no reason other than petty individual opportunism for the members of this clique to continue to stand in the way of the party's progress by opposing that analysis and those strategies for political action which will enable the Human Rights Party in Ann Arbor to build itself into a powerful mass-based radical electoral party which is capable of attaining and wielding basic political power in this community in the interests of the poor, oppressed, and powerless people of Washtenaw County. Given the enormity of their failure and the seriousness of the threat they pose to the future existence, development and expansion of the Human Rights Party, there is no reason why these backwards elements should not freely and of their own volition remove themselves from decision-making bodies within the HRP, step aside and give the progressive forces within the party the same opportunity they had to test out their theories in actual practice. Their actions so far, since they've been in control, have resulted in stunning losses for the HRP, and we believe very firmly that they would surely finish off the HRP as a viable political force by next April if they were allowed to remain at the head of the organization. We are not making any personal attacks on any individuals as private persons, nor are we attacking the stated public platform and policies of the Human Rights Party, with which we are in almost full accord. We aren't saying that so-and-so should step down because she has bad breath, or he has hair growing out of his nostrils, or because they went to different high schools from us or anything like that. We are talking about serious political differences, the implications of which extend out into the community and will remain deeply involved with the lives of thousands and thousands of people in that community over a period of many years, and we oppose the recent "leadership" clique in the HRP because we believe very seriously that their erratic maneuvering, coupled with an obsolete, painfully inadequate social analysis, poses a very serious threat to the people of our community who look to the Human Rights Party for correct guidance, dynamic leadership in the electoral/political arena, and a visible working alternative to the unprincipled property parties. In the first place, as we said above, they threaten the very existence of the party by continuing to shrink its base of support among the very people who would be its most enthusiastic members if they were approached properly, that is, in a way which relates to the problems they face in their daily lives rather than such relatively abstract intellectual-radical considerations as whether parliamentary procedure is followed at the HRP's "open meetings" or whether a candidate is bound to a "democratically-determined" policy rather than his or her own "conscience." By concentrating on such abstract questions in their mass propaganda while at the same time under-emphasizing the extremely important political differences between HRP candidates and their Democratic and Republican opponents, the campus-radical element alienates the masses of people who are ready to engage in serious political activity and helps convince them that there is really no reason why they should bother with it. Politics-as-a-game or as a forum for getting off on one's own individual word trip, with the speaker bearing no responsibility in practice for his or her words, is not only an intellectual dead-end, which is essentially harmful only to the individual caught up in it, but more mportantly is ultimately dangerous to the people who live and work and struggle in a given community such as Ann Arbor. The "radical" debate freaks, arguing from purely abstract intellectual positions, militate against serious... continued on next page
RPP Election Statement...Continued from centerfold
political activists with deep roots in the community and a long-standing record of daily practice among the people, demanding equal weight for their arid intellectual arguments despite their lack of practice and their lack of commitment to the community and its struggle. What is dangerous is that the proposed policies of the radical debaters are suddenly, through the agency of the Human Rights Party, thrust into positions of prominence in the community, sometimes enacted into law, often responsible for much public discussion and mass confusion, and generally blown way out of proportion to their actual merit, which carries precisely the weight of the air which surrounds the words issued from their mouths. The campus-radical intellectuals will vigorously espouse positions and policies which when accepted as party policy can have far-reaching impact of the community, and in the lives of the people who are affected by the intellectuals' decisions, however, are rarely taken into consideration unless they can be used to bolster the intellectuals arguments, and the final criterion always seems to be the peculiar feelings or thoughts of the speaker rather than the concrete needs of the people in the community. In summary, we believe that the campus-radical intellectuals, both the ultra leftist and the right-opportunist factions within the HRP, have demonstrated decisively, once and for all, that they are incapable of providing the Human Rights Party and the community it purports to serve with the leadership they deserve; that their strategies, based on their obsolete social analyses, can never be winning strategies and in fact can only lead the HRP down the road of political suicide; that in many cases they don't have the most minimal commitment even to staying and living in the community they presume to "organize" through their activity in the HRP that they actually stand in the way of the development of the Human Rights Party as a mass-oriented, mass-based radical electoral party which can move with the support of the people to build effective political power for the people on the local level; and that they must, if they have any commitment to effective political organizing in this community, admit that their analysis and their strategy in the November electoral campaign was incorrect and remove themselves from their decision-making positions within the party so that new ideas, new analyses and new political strategies can emerge to lead the party back to life and into the future with a program for victory for the people of the Ann Arbor community.
THE ROLE OF THE HRP IN THE NEXT FOUR YEARS
"Our commitment is to the establishment and growth of a strong, principled, truly alternative radical electoral party which will concentrate its electoral and organizational efforts on the Ann Arbor Washtenaw County community until its base solidly established...We hope with all our hearts that the more progressive elements within the HRP will return to their previous commitment to building a radical electoral once the backwards, elitist assumptions of their ultra-leftist comrades are exposed, through practical experience, as incorrect and dangerous to the growth and utility of the Human Rights Party; and we hope even more intensely that they will then join with us in the struggle to organize thousands of rising new people--and not merely a handful of "liberal Democrats" -- into a powerful revolutionary force for change in this community." -From the RPP Pre-Election Statement SUN No. 39
It is important for all of us to understand the significance of the Human Rights Party as a potential force for change in our community, and once we understand it's even more important that we move together to utilize the possibilities inherent in the HRP to help us create and build more and more people's power in the Ann Arbor community. As a mass electoral party the HRP is squarely in the middle of the popular political arena; its policies and actions, as those of its candidates for public office and its elected officials, exist in the public eye, where they can reach increasingly greater numbers of people with truly radical alternative approaches to the people's problems. At the same time the Human Rights Party is engaged in active and direct struggle with the reactionary and bourgeois-liberal politicians and the property parties they represent in the arena of electoral politics, with the very real stakes of public office and policy making positions within the political superstructure of capitalist society at issue. Despite the babble of the ultra-leftists, there is the possibility of effecting concrete change in some very important areas of struggle through participating if the electoral process; particularly if one is serious enough to attempt to win elections and secure the offices and positions at stake in the name of the people, and to use those offices and positions in the interests of the people. The $5.00 marijuana law, the $28,000 allotted to the People's Community Center out of the city budget, and the $4,000 allocated to the Community Park Program from the city budget last year are but three concrete examples of what we're talking about here, but they just begin to hint at the vast possibilities which are open to the people through this particular form of struggle. It seems to us, however, that there's little need to run down a long list of specific projections vis a vis the possibilities inherent in holding and utilizing public office in the people's interests, because everyone can imagine for themselves what it will be like when we -- as a community -- begin to control the public and political institutions which now contribute so heavily to our oppression. What we want to point out in addition is that holding political office and acting as public officials can be a powerful educational tool for the people as well, particularly in terms of making known to masses of people the alternatives to capitalism and imperialism which can be effected by the people first in their own communities and then throughout the world. Through such an agency as the Human Rights Party the progressive people of this community can struggle in the electoral arena for a voice in, and eventually for full control over, the political institutions which affect all of our lives on a daily basis; we can enact exemplary legislation which will at the same time deal with some of our most immediate survival problems and point out concrete, workable alternatives to the honky approach for thousands and thousands of people in the overall community who would continued on next page...
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otherwise have little or no exposure to such alternatives; we can use the public platform afforded by electoral campaigns and public offices to confront the reactionary practices of the Democrats and Republicans in government and to expose their increasing inability to solve the problems which daily plague the people of their communities; and we can develop the HRP into a truly mass political organization which not only runs candidates for office but which also has on-going programs in the community to illustrate and back up its positions and policies on many issues and to serve the needs of the people who constitute the party's base of support. We see the need for such a party growing greater and greater every day, and we view the Human Rights Party as a basic structure which, when transformed from a closed, idealistic, elitist campus-radical debating society to a mass-oriented, mass-based popular electoral party, can be developed into an ever more powerful force for revolutionary social change in our community. We feel that the victories in the City Council elections last spring bear the proof of the validity of our analysis and the strategies which flowed from it, and we believe without a doubt that the HRP can still begin to build upon and develop the base of support which was attracted to the party in that campaign, even though the November electoral campaign effectively undermined a considerable segment of that support. We believe further that if the HRP is not transformed immediately it is doomed to extinction after the spring elections next year, and that it is too valuable a tool for the people of this community to allow such a catastrophe to happen. People, and particularly rainbow people, are more ready to move now than ever before, they are ready to relate very directly and energetically to a mass electoral party such as the HRP if it makes even the slightest attempt to relate itself to the people in terms the people can understand and accept as their own, and it would be criminal to allow their hopes to be built up through the course of campaigns such as last spring's only to let them be torn down because of incompetence, stupidity, egomania, opportunism, elitism, and extreme self-centeredness on the part of a small unrepresentative clique of former campus radicals from the University of Michigan. During the next four years the Human Rights Party has the opportunity either to develop itself along the lines of its highest and fullest potential, as a mass-based alternative political party which has the full and active support of thousands and thousands of people in the community, or to go down the same drain that SDS, PLP, IS, and the rest of the student-radical organizations disappeared into failing to build for themselves a mass base and a basis of practice in their communities. The future of radical political activity depends upon the ability of political activists to link themselves with the people and to organize masses of people into a powerful political force through daily practice in the community where people live and work; no amount of debating over abstract positions and idealistic babblings will ever begin to be able to solve the people's problems, and in fact they only manage to hold back the people's progress in the arena of material conditions and concrete political action. What is needed now, to begin the ascent which must take place over the next four years here in Ann Arbor (and we participate in the national political arena only as members of the Ann Arbor community where we live; if change is to take place "on the national level" it must by definition take place in the component communities which make up the nation or there is no change) -- what is needed now to move us further up the first step toward people's political control of our communities is precisely the Human Rights Party we have attempted to depict throughout this statement: a party which has a consistent, up-front position or policy on every issue that affects the life of the people and a practice to back them up; a party which makes every attempt to relate itself directly to the masses of people whose objective interests it is organized to serve; a party which bases itself in the masses of people of the rainbow community who are most ready to accept leadership and its political and cultural vision; a party which is committed to smashing the Democratic Party completely in the long run and to exposing and heightening the contradictions between the people and the reactionaries in the Republican Party; a party which can build upon this base a constantly expanding force of militant, informed, deeply concerned voters and incipient activists from all sectors of the overall community who will dedicate themselves to further expanding and strengthening the party organization and broadening its appeal to more and more people. We believe that the present Human Rights Party, minus its recent leadership clique (or with that group kept out, by mutual consent, of decision making positions within the party) and with the addition of a sizable number of rainbow activists and concerned people who are ready to work for change instead of just talking about it, can begin to develop immediately into a winning force in the 1973 spring elections and thereafter, making steady gains for the people, holding office, acting in office, enacting truly progressive legislation, moving for control of the courts, prosecutors' offices, sheriff's departments and the other institutions of armed power which are presently instrumental in keeping us oppressed, working through sponsored legislation, exemplary action, and mass educational campaigns to raise the political level of the people vis a vis the political issues which affect their lives, and generally working for the interests of the people in every possible way that might present itself. We -- the Rainbow People's Party, which is not an electoral party but an organization of full time community organizers who are committed to helping the people in the community organize themselves to be able to deal with their problems and needs through their own initiative -- we are committed, as we've said in the past, to rebuilding the Human Rights Party we helped build last spring before the super-intellectual element took over the party. We are committed at this point to doing whatever is necessary to rescue the Human Rights Party from what would be certain death if the party's controls were to remain in the hands of the people who have brought the HRP to its sorry present state, and we are further committed to bringing the party back to life and then taking that life and integrating it thoroughly with the life (and the lives) of the people who live in our community. We will not stand by and watch the valuable weapon of the Human Rights Party go unused as a mass political and educational tool while a bunch of self-centered opportunists play guessing games as to which member of which clique will run for which office in the next election. We urge our brothers and sisters in the rainbow community here in town to join with us in developing this powerful weapon for social change which is the Human Rights Party along the lines which will be most useful to our people and to all poor, oppressed, powerless people in our community. As the primary and then the April City Council elections draw nearer there will be an incredible amount of plain hard work to be done in order to reach the people we need to get to during the course of the campaign. There will be positions of leadership open in January, including a new party coordinator and a whole new steering committee, and we especially urge people who have been interested in the HRP but have been turned off by the campus-radical elements to join with us at this time in making the HRP what our community needs it to be. If we don't move now it will be too late, as a repeat of the November fiasco in the spring would be the last gasp of a dying organism. The next issue of the SUN will carry a more detailed proposal for the rejuvenation of the HRP, but in the meantime we hope people will give serious consideration to the task at hand and decide to join us in this historic effort. The next open meeting of the HRP will be held January 11 - we'll see you there. ALL POWER TO THE PEOPLE! LONG LIVE THE HUMAN RIGHTS PARTY The Central Committee and the Central Staff of the Rainbow People's Party