On the early morning of September 24th, SWAT teams in Minneapolis and Chicago kicked in the doors of private residences, seizing computers and documents and serving grand jury subpoenas to at least thirteen US activists. The activists, many associated with First Worldist organizations, are, according to an FBI representative, part of an investigation “concerning the material support for terrorism.” (1)
Ted Dooley, a lawyer for one of the activists, said the raids regard “contact with FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia), PFLP (Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine) and Hezbollah, all of which are FTOs (Foreign Terrorist Organizations).” Some of the subpoened activists had recently traveled to Columbia and Palestine to do solidarity work with those resisting US-sponsored militarism and admit to meeting with members of these groups, yet deny providing any material support to any organizations labeled ‘terrorist’ by the US. (2)
The raids against Amerikan activists come during the ‘progressive’ administration of Barack Obama. Despite this reputation, Obama has stepped up the war in Afghanistan (3); increased drone attacks in Pakistan and elsewhere(4); amplified support for Israel (5); and maintains close relations with the comprador dictatorship in Columbia. (6) Now, as White supremacists openly organize militias and street gangs, such attacks come upon members of the self-described ‘peace’ movement. (7)
The First Worldist so-called ‘left’ has made a lot out of the FBI raids. For the most part, the First Worldist ‘left’ is ignored in the US, both by the imperialist state and the petty-imperialist asses. Such raids are therefore a relatively big deal for First Worldists, and small protests were held in dozens of US cities. (8)
Many on the so-called left have described the raids as part of an intimidation campaign meant to silence opposition prior to escalated imperialist militarism in the Middle East and Latin America. Others have described it as a ‘fishing expedition,’ an attempt to acquire as much information on the nominal ‘left’ as possible. (9) While both are likely true to a small extent, it misses the obvious.
The FBI raids concern those who facilitated connections between US activists and those resisting imperialist designs in their respective countries. The raids targeted activists who support, at least at face value, the active struggle of Third World masses.
Any criminal charges will likely be based around ‘material support’ for US-designated ‘terrorist’ organizations. There are only 46 such ‘terrorist’ organizations, a number which does not reflect the far greater magnitude of peoples’ resistance. ‘Material support’ is extremely broad and can be interpreted any number of ways. While we certainly support the activists as defendants for the ‘crime’ of reaching out to those resisting imperialist terror, we question the very nature of First Worldist ‘aid’ to Third World peoples’ struggles.
First Worldism, the thought that the First World masses are exploited and part of a global proletariat, is not a minor error or slight miscalculation. When espoused to Third World peoples, it is an outright lie that misrepresents the true scope of the anti-imperialist struggle. Such a lie is so fundamental, its spread can only set back the anti-imperialist struggles being waged in Latin America, the Middle East and around the Third World. First Worldism, which denies First Worlders are affluent due to the exploitation of Third World peoples, must be opposed on an international level.
True First World anti-imperialist solidarity comes from working to create support for Third World liberation struggles, not globe-trotting while spreading the lie of First Worldism. True anti-imperialist solidarity comes by honestly assessing the social landscape and building public opinion in favor of Third World peoples’ revolution, not opportunistically pimping-off pre-existing resistance movements in an attempt to stand-out amidst an array of similar, First-Worldist grouplets.
The imperialist state vamped on several Amerikan activists for what they did right: work to build support for Third World liberation struggles. However, these attacks are light compared to what imperialism doles out to Third World peoples.
Imperialism will be defeated by the exclusive struggles of the world’s exploited majority and their allies. As the contradiction between the people of the exploited Third World and imperialist First heats up, we can only expect increasing legal attacks against those in the US and First World who foster support for such struggles. The correct route to take is not one of eclecticism, opportunism and appealing to the broad First World so-called ‘masses.’ The correct rout is one of clarity, determined strategy, and honesty guided by the sprit of revolutionary anti-imperialism. Real support is telling the truth and still working to advance the revolutionary struggle of the world’s exploited masses.