On September 16th, activists from across the country will convene on Howard University’s campus for the “People’s Congress of Resistance (PCOR).” Conveners of the “congress” include university professors and members of organizations like Popular Resistance, MPACT, the ever-Marxist-Leninist Party for Socialism and Liberation, and the extremist Nation of Islam, just to name a few.
The conference’s goal is ambitious, aiming to unite the many warring tribes of social justice. PCOR’s website states that the event “will draw together grassroots resisters and diverse social movements from around the country for an exciting weekend of strategizing, deliberation and information-sharing.”
A promotional video for the event dubbed, “A Vision for Revolution,” references a myriad of activists, including Standing Rock protesters, Black Lives Matter, immigrant groups, and women’s organizations. “Together, we will write a manifesto to unite our many struggles,” the video proclaims. “Together, we will define the social, economic, and political revolution we need.”
Revolution, it seems, is exactly what PCOR is working towards. In a newly released manifesto titled, “Society for the Many: A Vision for Revolution,” PCOR advocates for a Marxist revolution in the United States.
“The United States is not organized for the common good. Its laws, its government, its basic system is designed to protect the wealth and privilege of the top 1 percent. U.S. law reinforces patriarchy and white supremacy,” the manifesto reads. “A vision for social, economic and political revolution is necessary. We need to know where we want to go.”
Where exactly does PCOR want to go, and how will it achieve its aims? Among PCOR’s goals, the manifesto lists, “Meeting social needs and securing the means of life for all (health, food, shelter and education),” and “Reparations for Black America, self-determination and respect for Native sovereignty.”
At the height of irony, while PCOR demands “health, food, shelter and education” for all free of charge, it is simultaneously charging $100 as a standard registration fee for the conference. According to PCOR’s registration page, “The registration fee covers participation in the two-day event, not including housing, food and other personal expenses.”
Of course, no Marxist revolution would be complete without “seizing the means of production.” PCOR addresses this dilemma in full with another goal, stated as, “Collectivizing the banks, communication, transportation, energy and related industries.”
“Why should we have to pay to communicate or to move from place to place? Some of us spend a quarter of our income on getting to work — where is the justice in that?,” the manifesto writers query. “It is essential, that all the industries that determine our lives behind our backs become the common property of the collective people.”
Furthermore, it seems that the group is not content with the current, duly elected Congress. PCOR’s “Call to Action” page reads, “The People demand a new Congress, a fighting Congress of the working class of all racial and ethnic backgrounds, genders and ages. We must create a Congress of communities under attack by the reactionary Trump agenda and fighting back against it.”
In order to bring this future to fruition, the organization’s manifesto states, “Such an organization of society is possible. Revolution is how we achieve it. We have to become a power that is capable of challenging the existing power,” claiming that, “Throughout history there have been moments that urgently require radical change, the reorganization of political, social, and economic power, and the building of a new power.”
“Now is such a moment. It begins by announcing: power is ours,” the manifesto continues.