Arizona anarchists to outside Marxists. Stay away

An Arizona anarchist group doesn’t want no carpet-bagging Marxists bungee-jumping into their state, especially since those group’s primary purpose is recruiting for their parties and thus they care only secondarily about the immigration law crisis.

A constant for those of us in Arizona who have been in the streets since the passage of SB 1070, has been the troubling presence of political opportunists, or “the hacks” as we’re now accustomed to calling them. A “31 Flavors” of Left-wing political groups, most of them looking to jump on the anti-SB 1070 band wagon as a means to get their name out there, recruit new members, and/or using the human rights disaster we face to raise funds to build their presence.

For months now, the Trotskyist sect, the Socialist Workers Party (SWP), have shown up at pro-immigrant/anti-Arpaio demonstrations hawking their paper, “The Militant,” and setting up a table to sell their books. Meanwhile, the ANSWER “coalition” has appeared overnight and called for a demonstration the day before the law goes into effect.

As it’s been documented over the years, ANSWER is a front for the Party for Socialism and Liberation, a Leninist group that broke away from the Stalinist line of the Workers World Party a few years back. From where we stand, these groups, who parachute in with their own agenda, offer no answer from any of their party building, paper selling militants, or disingenuous front organizations for the crisis in Arizona.

With the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP), there are plenty of opportunities for a well meaning person to get caught up in their web of front groups.

They are especially scathing of RCP and its cult worship of their leader Bob Avakian. SWP and PSL are just garden variety ideologues compared to genuinely loopy RCP. Since all of them block moderates from having any say in their front organizations, they doom themselves to being perpetually insignificant. You just can’t build a mass organization that way, no matter how much you claim you want to.

  • “Meanwhile, the ANSWER “coalition” has appeared overnight and called for a demonstration the day before the law goes into effect.”

    What total crap. The ANSWER coalition has been working/demonstrating for immigrant rights for years, and helped organize and organized buses from all over the Southwest to get to the previous anti-SB1070 rally. That the authors of this article don’t know that just shows how much THEY are divorced from the struggle.

    • EnCee

      Wow, I am not going to get into this too much because I only saw it in passing and some of the issues, especially regarding opportunism and these groups self serving aggrandizement, deserve more talk. However, the idea of Eli Stephens talking about being “divorced from the struggle” is a total and complete joke. This guy already does too much arm-chair revolutionizing as it is. Eli should get out and interact with people, he might learn a few things instead of mouthing off through some website about radical optometrics. Oh yeah, and given all the quotes he has about telling the truth he sure seems to have a problem with other groups calling out people on their questionable behavior and practices.
      If there are critiques then answer them, don’t just throw out some simplistic excuse or try to ignore people’s concerns. You don’t get to decide whose concerns are legitimate or not and just shrug it off like it doesn’t matter. This smarmy, arrogant attitude is typical of the ANSWER and PSL formations and explains why Eli likes to associate with them so much. Maybe if they stroke your ego enough you can give them some more money.

      • A, you don’t know me so you have absolutely no idea how much “actual revolutionizing” rather than ‘arm-chair revolutionizing” that I do (nor do I have any idea who you are or where you fit on that scale), and

        B, I notice with all your blathering you didn’t bother to refute what I actually said in my comment. Of course that’s because you can’t, because what I said is the simple truth.

        • EnCee

          Stephen, I know you enough from the many times I have seen you talking with Richard Becker and Jon Britton and sitting down self-content at meetings and forums. So yes, I know you do a lot of arm chair revolutionizing. So your talk about being “divorced from the struggle” is still a complete joke. No amount of money you donate to the PSL will ever change that. You can’t buy your way into being revolutionary.

          Also, learn to read. I said I wasn’t going into the issue too much because I only saw it in passing and it deserves more talk. Seriously, you could write pages on the issues raised here. But, I’m not sure I have time for that as I am preparing to go to Arizona tonight. The only reason I commented on this was because of the enormity of the joke of you, Stephen, talking about being “divorced from the struggle” given your own detached, smug and aloof criticism.

          It’s hypocritical for you to attack the post for raising what may be valid criticisms.

          For the record I do lot’s of work in the immigrant rights movement so the manager of this site has intimate knowledge of the various goings on in the immigrant rights movement from me and just in general from other people he associates with. He knows at least a little about what he’s talking about. Acting as if ANSWER has some extraordinary status in the movement deserving of special attention when they are barely a blip on anyone’s radar just feeds into this self-aggrandizement I mentioned previously. See, what you don’t get is that many other groups have organized buses, yet for some reason you want to afford ANSWER some special status. No one else is beating their chest about how many buses they organized. Thing is if so many other groups have organized buses to support the cause in Arizona then why is ANSWER or PSL one of the few being criticized?

          These are simple questions, nothing too mind boggling. In light of your initial reply it’s something you should consider when you post things.

          • Eli Stephens

            Once again, you ignore the actual facts. Here’s what I wrote above “The ANSWER coalition has been working/demonstrating for immigrant rights for years, and helped organize and organized buses from all over the Southwest to get to the previous anti-SB1070 rally.” I didn’t say “ANSWER has some extraordinary status in the movement,” I merely said they have been active in the movement for years, which was meant to rebut the absurd contention that they “appeared overnight.” Now either that’s true or it’s not true. I say it’s complete nonsense, and I offer the simple fact that ANSWER put major organizational efforts into the rally that occurred on June 1 in Phoenix. I didn’t say they were the only ones to do so, which would be absurd. I merely offered one piece of evidence that they did not “appear overnight,” even in Arizona.

            And as far as the nationwide scene, and not just Arizona, the work of ANSWER, and MANY groups on the left, on behalf of immigrant rights, goes back years. The slogan “A world without borders” has been a slogan on the left for decades. And the recent upsurge in activity around the issue hardly started in Arizona, but in Los Angeles, in 2006. ANSWER and PSL have been an integral part of organizing May Day rallies that day and ever since. Whether they have “extraordinary status” in the movement you can decide for yourself, I wouldn’t particularly contend that, but it is a fact that, for example, this year in Los Angeles, where the biggest May Day rally by far was held, two of the speakers were from ANSWER and PSL ( These are simple facts. Do you deny them? It seems clear to me that the author of the article quoted in this post is either ignorant of those facts, or chose to willfully ignore them. Since I don’t know who the author is, I won’t attempt to choose between those alternatives. In either case, the assertion of “appearing overnight” is, as I claimed in my first remarks, utter nonsense.

          • EnCee

            Stephen, the article is about them appearing in Arizona. That is where the term carpet bagging comes from. That is why people say they “appeared overnight” because they are not based in Arizona nor have been. I think the whole thing needs more dissection but trying to back off the condescending and dismissive tone of your initial reply seems futile. It’s right there. Your lack of knowledge only shows how out of touch you are and is blatantly hypocritical when you criticize this site’s posting.

            The idea that ANSWER put major organizational effort into June 1 is also patently absurd. Maybe it was “major” for them but it’s not like they had anything to do with organizing things in Phoenix. Trying to associate them with the hard work of the people who actually organized things Phoenix, is plainly opportunistic and typical of the ANSWER and PSL formation. This is pretty illustrative of the things people find wrong with the ANSWER and PSL formations. They try to glob on and take credit for things they didn’t do and beat their chest about how big and important they are. On June 1 ANSWER and PSL were in Phoenix with a pushcart for sound and some banners. Big whoop. Guess what, a whole bunch of other people were there and no one seems to be writing articles about them coming into town. Once again, the question is why?

            See you in Arizona.

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