by Leonard Zorfass
I attended the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. I did not attend the convention itself but joined the hundreds of protestors outside the convention. Among the protestors were various strata of left including Sandernistas, Anarchists, Democratic Socialists, and a handful of communists outside of the APL members in attendance. We carried an APL and Soviet flag. At first things seemed to be going okay. People were converging outside of the convention gates. Several different media representatives interviewed members of the APL including myself. We also met a handful of other communists who showed up and expressed their admiration that we had “the guts” to carry the flags we were carrying. We also managed to point out some party lit to interested people. That was the good, which accounted for about 5% of our time there.
The other 95% was an absolute mess. I had thought, that given the common opposition to Hillary, the left would be relatively united. This was not the case. Groups were not in contact with each other. There was constant over talk over megaphones. One group would march one way, the other group would march another, and another group gathered in a corner to sing songs. Not to mention the groups of people who just sat on the lawn not participating in anything. There was no unity, no plan, no solidarity.The last and most annoying part was the right wing trolls. We didn’t have the time to try to get people organizing because we were being harassed by right wingers who showed up to do nothing more than to create a disruption. We were cornered by a number of these people who attempted to start arguments. They were not good arguments. While they tried to throw the same rhetorical anti-communist nonsense at us, we would respond leaving them speechless aside from the insults they flung at us. One tried to tell us how the Soviet Union was so evil and only supported evil things. When we asked if he knew how the US supported people like Pol Pot, Pinochet, and Franco, the person didn’t even know who they were. Another group cornered us throwing similar rhetoric at us. One claimed that the Soviet Union was bad because he had family who were killed by the Soviet state. When my comrade said, “I know people who have been killed by the U.S.,” he blew it off and repeated himself. I then replied that the Soviet Union saved my family in Russia. Which is true, if not for the Bolsheviks and Red Army the White Army would have executed my Jewish family, not to mention the Nazi’s during their invasion. He gave the response: “Shut the fuck up, you’re a loser.” They also made claims that capitalism created wealth, when we tried to explain that wealth came from labor they told us we were asshole idiots who didn’t know what we were talking about. This is what we had to spend most of our time doing. Dealing with right-wing lunatics whose ignorance is so great they can’t even defend their own points and result to insults.
After tonight, I feel ashamed to say it but I feel very demoralized. The left couldn’t even coordinate with itself when we were all there for a common goal. Hell, the Sanders supporters couldn’t even coordinate with the Sanders supporters. The fact that we couldn’t try to get something together because we kept getting cornered by right-wing, and often drunk, wreckers was a disaster. They were extremely insulting, ignorant, and aggressive. There was a point were we thought we might have to fight these people. People seemed to care more that they just showed up to sing songs or to try to troll left-wingers than to actually accomplish anything.
I always try to maintain revolutionary optimism, but at the moment, I am finding it hard. The left hates itself, and the right spouts their ignorant, and false, rhetoric to cheers. Usually, after an action I feel invigorated, energized, and optimistic. Even when strong opposition shows up I feel proud to have stood up to them. After the DNC, however, I feel pessimism, demoralization, and utter annoyance. The movement outside the DNC was an utter disappointment. I will not stop organizing and fighting in spite of this. The victory of communism is too important to give up on, despite my current mood due to this experience. But I think it’s time we start to reevaluate how we interact with different groups of people both on the left and right. We can talk about unity, solidarity, and togetherness all we want but they don’t want it. The right wants us dead just for holding a flag and the “left” only cares about making a show of things so they can tell their fri ends they were there. I don’t have the answer as to what to do from here but we must come up with a new one soon or the only change we’ll see is ourselves in the grave, or having a mental break down. We are, as Che put it, in the mouth of the wolf, and it’s jaws are closing.