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STORM Manifesto

STORM Manifesto

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Published by David-Crockett
van Jones Strom Manifesto
van Jones Strom Manifesto

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Published by: David-Crockett on Sep 01, 2009
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01/14/2013

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PREFACE: WHY THIS DOCUMENT?
This is the story of Standing Together to Organize a RevolutionaryMovement (STORM), a revolutionary cadre organization based in theSan Francisco Bay Area. From September 1994 to December 2002,STORM helped to re-invigorate the Left, both locally and nationally.STORM members fought on the frontlines of some of the most impor-tant struggles of those eight years. We built organizations and institu-tions that continue to fight. And we supported the development of anew generation of revolutionary internationalists in the Bay Area andacross the country.During that time, we gained a wealth of experience that offers the Leftsome important lessons. To ensure that those lessons are not lost orclouded by time and memory, we have chosen to document that expe-rience now. We humbly offer this document in hopes that it may helpmove the Left forward.As young leftists starting a revolutionary organization, we certainlycould have used such a document. Most of us had never been in arevolutionary organization. After all, STORM’s membership was alwaysmore than 60 percent women and more than 75 percent people of color*– people all too often (and tragically) marginalized by and alien-ated from the U.S. Left.For eight years, we fumbled in the dark of our youth and inexperienceas we tried to build STORM and a broader movement that wouldfinally end the murderous reign of U.S. imperialism. And with the Leftin retreat globally and nationally, we seemed to be starting nearly fromscratch.
*During its existence, STORM used “people of color” to describe and refer to people withinthe United States from oppressed races and nations. Though some of the former memberswho worked on this document now prefer the term “Third World people,” we use “peopleof color” in order to remain consistent with our organizational history. This change and thedisagreement among us on this question reflect our evolving understanding and analysis of race and nation in the U.S. context. We ask the reader to take whatever political implicationsthe term “people of color” has with a grain of salt.
 
We poured our hearts and wisdom into answering questions withwhich earlier revolutionaries must surely have struggled. But, for avariety of reasons, we didn’t have access to the thoughts of thoseprevious freedom fighters. And when we did get access to them, it wastoo late.When STORM decided to disband in December 2002, we also decidedto write a summation of our experience – the good and the bad. Wedidn’t do this to rehash old issues. We didn’t do it to prove anyoneright or wrong. We did it to give other people a chance to learn fromour experience – because no one else should have to reinvent thewheel.Reclaiming Revolution is divided into five sections. The first sectionoffers an overview of the historical period in which STORM operated.The second section details STORM’s history. Next, we summarize thepolitics that defined the organization. The fourth section describesSTORM’s organizational structure. And we end the document byevaluating STORM’s work – our successes, our errors and the lessonswe have drawn from all of this.The primary lesson is this: the fight for liberation must continue, andit must win. We set out to change the world, to fight for and win truefreedom for our people. Eight years later, we have not yet succeeded.And now we have lost the organization that gave us a place from whichto struggle.But we have not lost hope. We all remain committed to being a partof future efforts to build strong organizations that can finally win totalliberation. This document is the first such “future effort.”
Hide nothing from the masses of people. Tell no lies.Expose lies whenever they are told. Mask no difficulties,mistakes, failures. Claim no easy victories.- Amilcar Cabral, African revolutionary leader
WHO WROTE THIS DOCUMENT?
Many of STORM’s former members contributed to the developmentof this document, including almost all of the people who were part of the organization at its dissolution in 2002. Once it was completed,nineteen of STORM’s former members (a majority of our member-ship) expressed strong support for the analysis and conclusions of thisdocument.
Reclaiming Revolution
is an attempt to pull our various perspectives onour history into a single document. Although our unity is not absolute,the majority of STORM’s former members felt like we could stand bythe conclusions of this document.These people all remain deeply engaged in movement-building work.Many of us are building power in working class communities of color.Others are building left institutions. Still others are finding ways to“serve the people.” But all of us remain explicitly committed to revo-lutionary politics and revolutionary organization.

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