Maoists and Socialists Target Knoxville City Council

November 25, 2019 Updated: November 25, 2019

Commentary

Knoxville, Tennessee, is being heavily targeted for a socialist takeover.

The American far-left, especially the pro-China communist group Liberation Road (formerly known as Freedom Road Socialist Organization, or FRSO) and the country’s largest Marxist organization, the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), are heavily focused on the U.S. South.

City by city, the left are targeting city councils, school boards, and state legislatures as part of a long-term strategy to destroy the Republican Party and the conservative voting base in its Southern stronghold.

On Nov. 5, Liberation Road and the DSA elected another comrade, Amelia Parker, to the Knoxville City Council. While two more socialist candidates failed, Parker will soon join previously elected socialist Seema Singh Perez on the nine-member body.

Liberation Road, its student wing Progressive Student Alliance, and the DSA have several hundred comrades and supporters in Tennessee and access to many more across the state and from neighboring Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, and Kentucky. The DSA alone has 56,000 members across the nation. They are able to win small local races by bringing in armies of out-of-state volunteers and phone-bankers from all over the country.

If Liberation Road and the DSA want to take control of key cities across the South, where seats are typically won or lost on at most a few thousand votes, they have more than enough manpower and money to do it.

There is also a major socialist training school—the Highlander Research and Education Center—situated only 25 miles from Knoxville in New Market, Tennessee.

Established as the Highlander Folk School by Communist Party USA-affiliated activists in the 1930s to bring socialism to the South, the center is now firmly under Liberation Road/Maoist control. Highlander Co-Executive Director Ash-Lee Henderson is a longtime FRSO leader, as is the school’s personnel chair, Hawaii-based Meizhu Lui. Most of Highlander’s current staffers and board members come from FRSO backgrounds.

Two exceptions are board members Erica Smiley, who comes from Communist Party USA, and Loan Tran, an activist with the pro-Iran/North Korea Workers World Party.

Highlander has trained hundreds of activists and “community organizers” who are now working all over the South, often in electoral politics.

Henderson, for instance, was part of a small army of FRSO volunteers who elected radical Maoist Chokwe Lumumba to the Jackson, Mississippi, mayoralty in 2013. Though Lumumba died shortly after winning office, FRSO was back to elect his son, the equally radical Chokwe Antar Lumumba, to the Jackson mayoralty in 2017. Lumumba Jr. is now busily turning Jackson into “the most radical city on the planet”—his own words.

In recent years, FRSO/Liberation Road activists have elected several of their supporters to council positions and school boards in North Carolina.

The DSA helped elect their endorsed candidate Randall Woodfin to the Birmingham, Alabama, mayoralty in 2017. Middle Tennessee DSA also elected Sean Parker, one of their founding comrades, to the Nashville City Council in August this year—alongside several other radicals.

The DSA first ran Singh Perez and Parker for Knoxville City Council in 2017.

Singh Perez “ran as an independent and defeated her opponent, James Corcoran, by over 2,000 votes, even though he was backed by the local major newspaper, the Knoxville News Sentinel,” according to the Real News Network.

Singh Perez explained to the Real News Network:

“My campaign was successful due to the volunteering energy of residents of Knoxville that have been involved with social justice work of all kinds, shifting their focus to electoral politics.

“We made phone calls, we knocked on doors, we had conversations with so many people and actually listened. The ‘trick’ to our success has been that we actually care about the community and are not based on self-interests. These are values that the DSA embraces.”

In 2017, Parker ran unsuccessfully as Singh Perez’s running mate and as a nominal DSA member, but is much more aligned to FRSO/Liberation Road.

She has a history with several FRSO-aligned organizations–United Students Against Sweatshops, Progressive Student Alliance, Put the People First, Tennessee Anti-Racist Network, Black Lives Matter, and the City Council Movement.

This cycle, she ran on the City Council Movement ticket with Liberation Road member David Hayes and with lawyer/activist Charles Al-Bawi.

While Al-Bawi bombed badly with about 37 percent of the vote, Hayes earned a creditable 45 percent. Hayes is a Black Lives Matter activist and a veteran of the Ferguson, Missouri, protests of 2015. He was heavily supported by the University of Tennessee–Knoxville Progressive Student Alliance, Knoxville DSA, and Liberation Road through the City Council Movement. If an obvious radical such as Hayes can come that close on his first attempt, maybe even just wearing a suit and tie could almost guarantee victory next time around.

Given a couple of election cycles, it shouldn’t be difficult for the DSA and Liberation Road to elect another three Singh Perez/Parker clones to seize control of the Knoxville City Council.

If the left can take control of the Knoxville city government, expect to see city money going into all sorts of leftist causes. Expect Knoxville to become not just a new Boulder, Colorado, or Madison, Wisconsin, but more like a “San Francisco by the Smokies.”

The left is fighting hard to take over Memphis, Tennessee, with its huge black voting base to start winning statewide elections. If the left can gain control of Knoxville in the East and Memphis in the West and can increase its already strong influence in Nashville, it will only be a matter of time until the whole state flips to the Democratic column.

FRSO comrades campaigned for Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Phil Bredesen in 2018 against Republican Marsha Blackburn. Bredesen lost after an uncomfortably competitive race. However, if the left can complete their conquest of the Knoxville, Nashville, and Memphis city governments within the next two election cycles, expect most of the subsequent statewide races to go to the Democrats.

Virginia was flipped by Liberation Road and its allies just this month. If Liberation Road and the DSA have a realistic shot at flipping Tennessee, then North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida should be a piece of cake; Texas won’t be far behind.

The Republicans are having their Southern base stolen from under their very noses by the DSA and Liberation Road, a generously funded, well-organized sect of pro-China Maoist communists. And they seem completely oblivious.

If the good people of Knoxville stand up and do their civic duty, this program to co-opt their town could be stopped dead in its tracks. Both Parker and Singh Perez could be easily voted out in the next election if Republicans and moderate Democrats get organized.

By stopping the Marxists in East Tennessee, Knoxville will not only save itself, but maybe the whole South, and even the whole nation.

Trevor Loudon is an author, filmmaker, and public speaker from New Zealand. For more than 30 years, he has researched radical left, Marxist, and terrorist movements and their covert influence on mainstream politics.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

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