An Open Letter on Snitches

We are anti-fascists and revolutionaries in a climate of state repression especially hostile to concerted organized resistance. We are constantly faced with the danger of state repression. One of the most pernicious forms of state repression is infiltration of resistance movements by way of snitches and informants. GMAFA is writing this letter in the interest of keeping these movements, and the individuals therein, informed of and protected from snitches.

In June 2011, Laurelai Bailey, by her own admission, cooperated with federal agents during a home visit and spoke with them for hours regarding other people’s illegal activities.

Laurelai attended public GMAFA events on January 11, February 12, and February 27 of 2017. Several online accusations about Laurelai came to GMAFA’s attention, and were initially disregarded as personal attacks motivated at least partially by transphobia. However, later Laurelai openly admitted to having spoken with and cooperated with federal agents regarding the illegal activities of her associates.

Upon receiving that information, GMAFA made the decision to cut ties with Laurelai to maintain the security of our group.

GMAFA is also aware of three other snitches in Vermont: Lauren “Ren” Weiner and Zachary Jenson  both cooperated with the state, resulting in Eric McDavid serving over eight years in prison. Naomi Ullian cooperated with the state in a case that resulted in several comrades – known as the “Asheville 11” –  having charges levied against them.

GMAFA has a position of zero contact and zero tolerance for snitches. These are people who have helped put comrades in jail, and they pose an ongoing security risk to those involved in resistance movements and so their participation in those movements should not be allowed.

We know the real material consequences of cooperating with the state are that comrades are physically isolated from their communities through imprisonment and other legal confines. Our only recourse in these instances is to impose consequences of the same severity on these people. If we don’t treat these instances seriously and severely, we risk potential snitches feeling comfortable cooperating with the state and we put our political activity at risk of being compromised by the infiltration of snitches.

Any information about snitches should be shared with our movement comrades to protect our movements from state repression.

Solidarity with all political prisoners. Freedom for freedom fighters. None are free until all are free.

 

Preamble

Preamble to the WDG Constitution 

We, the Workers Defense Guard, hold that there is a class struggle in society and that this is caused by the economic conditions of capitalism.

We assert that, the economic condition of the worker is that they are exploited of the wealth that they produce, being allowed to retain barely enough for their elementary necessities.

We hold that, this class struggle will continue until the worker is recognized as the sole master of that which is produced by their labor.

We assert that, the primary obstacle to the victory of the worker over capital is that the organized forces of the employers have created and perpetuated: racism, white supremacy, fascism, sexism, patriarchy,  homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, ableism, and all manner of false divisions in society with the purpose of dividing the working class against itself in order to prevent the class struggle.

We assert that, fascism is the sharpest expression of the rule of the capitalist over the worker.

We hold that, the industrial Union is the primary economic self-defense organization of the working class. The Union must act as the vanguard of the worker’s economic concerns and all efforts should be made to organize the workers into labor unions to carry out this struggle at the point of production. Rank and File control of labor unions must be encouraged and exercised to develop the labor unions into revolutionary organizations which may also provide political direction to the class.

We hold that, the liberation of the working class is not possible under capitalism. The working class, and it alone, can and must achieve its own emancipation through a worker’s revolution. The WDG holds as central, that a specific emphasis must be placed on combatting the special oppression of black and brown peoples, as American capitalism is built on the foundation of racism and white supremacy. The WDG recognizes the right of nations to self determination.

Therefore, we workers, union and community members, join together into the Workers Defense Guard. The purpose of this organization is to fight racism, white supremacy, fascism, sexism, patriarchy, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, ableism, and the organized forces of the employers including the police and the state, and that armed self-defense and direct action are necessary to defend and advance the interests of the working class.

6 Point Program

  • Welfare of the People

      1. We demand free universal healthcare.
      2. We demand safe and clean housing that is affordable to everyone within our community.
      3. We demand that nourishing food be accessible and affordable.
      4. We demand that everyone be supplied with a basic living income.
      5. We demand free childcare and universal pre-k  education for all working-class families.
  • Police

      1. We oppose the police. We demand community-based alternatives to cops, courts and jails.
      2. We assert that the police exert an unquestioned and unaccountable presence as shock troops for the mayor to gentrify our city.
      3. We oppose no-knock raids and the killing of our neighbors by the police.
      4. We oppose the racist war on drugs and the expansion of policing in Burlington.
      5. We demand the complete dismantling and disarming of the police and prison industrial complex. We want to live in a world without prisons or police.
  • Work/Unions

      1. We demand union rights for all workers.  Everyone with a job deserves the security of just cause, protection against arbitrary termination and discipline, a basic livable wage, and the power to collectively bargain for improved wages, hours, and working conditions.
      2. We demand compensation for domestic labor.  Domestic work serves society as much as, if not more than, work outside the home.  It must be respected and compensated accordingly.
      3. We oppose all Right-to-Work legislation, as well as any hindrance to workers’ right to organize.
  • Schools

      1. We recognize that existing schools train poor young people to be docile workers and to funnel poor young black and brown people into prisons. Rich young people are trained to take their parents’ places as the bosses of society.
      2. We demand high-quality education for everyone at every level.  Preschool, elementary, high school, vocational and university-level, and postgraduate education should be free.
      3. We demand public schools run by teachers, students, and staff that teach the working-class history of all people including histories of colonialism, imperialism and exploitation in this country and beyond.
      4. We demand resources and training committed to building skills and human capacities necessary for a society organized to meet human needs, not competition.
      5. We demand that all schools be fully and equitably funded.
      6. We oppose charter schools, vouchers, and any attempt to shift public resources into for-profit educational models.
  • Neighborhoods

    1. We advocate for parks and streets for youth, families and people of all backgrounds to feel safe and unthreatened.
    2. We commit to bringing community members and neighbors together to discuss shared issues.
    3. We support projects that represent a united front of working-class and poor people. We understand the importance of, and advocate for, the building of black and brown power and leadership.
    4. We support a model of neighborhood councils where working class and oppressed peoples come together to make decisions about how to solve problems and meet the needs of the people.  We support working class and oppressed peoples control over planning, development and administration of our neighborhoods.
    5. We advocate for community stewards that will function as a network of immediate response and defense when neighborhood residents feel threatened or under attack.
    6. We oppose gentrification.
  • Anti-Racism   

    1. We recognize that Vermont is one of the whitest states in the country, and that racism thrives here. Vermont’s history of slavery and eugenics, as well as the present reality experienced by folks of color who endure racism every day, are evidence that white supremacy is as oppressive a force in Vermont as it is in every other state.
    2. We demand reparations for all people of color for the crimes of slavery and the  racist Jim Crow regime, as well as for the genocide enacted upon indigenous peoples.
    3. We do not advocate turn the other cheek martyrdom to people of color threatened under racist assault; we are committed to supporting people acting in their own self defense.  We assert that the institutionalized racism in schools, workplaces, and the community, as well as Klan and fascist activity, are not simply a set of bad ideas that can be reformed away. Rather, racism has been specifically created and maintained by the capitalists as a tool to divide workers. We will organize in our neighborhoods and workplaces to wage war on racist activity and to underscore the shared interests of poor white folks and people of color to reject the racial caste system forced on us by the ruling class.

5 Platform Theses

 

1. Class struggle is an inherent reality of capitalist society.

A. The ruling-class controls the means of production and dictates the conditions under which we labor. Our labor produces all the wealth of society yet the bosses enjoy the fruits of its accumulated value. Therefore, we are exploited of and alienated from our labor.

B. As workers we must organize ourselves along class lines in order to defend our interests economically, socially, and politically.

C. Workers are placed at the fundamental economic choke point of capitalism–the point of production. The  social power of the working class is rooted in our ability to stop capitalist production. This power can be utilized as a weapon against exploitation by the bosses.

2. The working-class must act collectively to overthrow capitalism and seize the means of production.

A. As workers we are oppressed and exploited by capitalism. We must liberate ourselves from this domination by any means necessary. The liberation of the working class can and must come through a social revolution to overthrow capitalism.

B. Our labor should collectively produce for the common well-being and human need and not for the profit of a few at the expense of many.

C. The organized forces of the bosses and the state are the primary obstacles to our collective liberation. We must therefore develop and deploy the means to confront them at the sharpest points of class struggle.

3. We are militant anti-fascists

A. The forces of reaction, racism, white supremacy, fascism, sexism, patriarchy, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia and ableism divide the working-class against itself, preventing us from cultivating the collective strength necessary for making revolution.

B. Fascism is the most potent form of capitalist violence. We will wage an aggressive and decisive campaign against any Fascist activity.

C. We will work in united fronts with groups opposed to Fascism and other reactionary threats to workers’ emancipation.

4. The liberation of the oppressed must be the act of the oppressed

A. Workers must be educated politically and given the tools of revolutionary praxis including self-defense skills.

B. Working-class people must develop relationships among neighbors in our communities in order to build solidarity with each other.

C. Organizing in neighborhoods and workplaces will empower working-class people to take their affairs into their own hands.

 5. Security and defense of the class

A. We will protect and defend the ability of groups of workers to demonstrate, organize, and engage in collective actions.

B. We support and perpetuate community self-defense; the necessity of the working-class to be as equipped to liberate ourselves as the bosses and the state are to oppress us.  

C. We will maintain an organization capable of carrying out a diversity of tactics. We will not engage in adventurous losing battles; instead, we will confront the class enemy with specific tactics determined by the relationship of forces and the degree to which our capacity allows.