The rioters who attacked police officers with Molotov cocktails and fireworks and torched numerous buildings in Kenosha, Wisconsin, for about a week included members of the same pro-China communist group that “sparked” the May riots in Minneapolis after the police-involved killing of George Floyd.
Maoist activists from the Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO) can take most, if not all, of the credit for inciting the recent rioting in Kenosha. The town of 100,000 people has been torn apart, businesses and cars have been razed, multiple people have been arrested, and two people have died—yet no one seems to want to call out the real culprits.
FRSO is based in the Midwest. It has maintained a strong presence in Chicago and Minneapolis for decades. The subversive organization has expanded in recent years into Milwaukee and the smaller university towns of Oshkosh and Kenosha, where new cadre are recruited through campus branches of FRSO’s youth wing: New Students for a Democratic Society.
On Feb. 20, 2017, the day President Donald Trump was inaugurated, FRSO political secretary Steff Yorek declared to a crowd of Washington protesters: “We need to stay in the streets the entire four years opposing Trump and making the country ungovernable.”
In November 2019, FRSO convened a conference in Chicago to form a new nationwide front organization: the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression (NAARPR).
More accurately, it was a re-founding of an old Communist Party USA front of the 1970s of the same name. The original NAARPR was set up to free iconic communist Angela Davis, who was then under arrest for alleged complicity in the murder of a California judge. Davis was eventually acquitted of the murder charge in 1972, and she even came to Chicago to confer her blessing on the new organization.
Headed by FRSO Central Committee member Frank Chapman, the new NAARPR is clearly designed to confront police about alleged issues of racism and police brutality. Chapman told FightBack! News:
“Black and brown communities are over-patrolled and under-protected and must confront police harassment, racial profiling, torture and murder on a daily basis. This is not happening in just Chicago, New York City or Los Angeles; this happening throughout the nation.
“We believe the enormity of the problem of police tyranny has created a mass demand for community control of the police. We believe this problem can best be confronted by a national movement organized by a refounding of the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression (NAARPR).”
The NAARPR quickly established branches and alliances all over the country—all affiliated with FRSO or sympathetic communist groups.
It was the Minneapolis affiliate of the NAARPR—the Twin Cities Coalition 4 Justice 4 Jamar—headed by FRSO comrades Jess Sundin and Lorraine VanPelt that is credited with sparking the Minneapolis riots.
When protesters gathered in downtown Kenosha after the Aug. 23 police-involved shooting of Jacob Blake, three banners were clearly visible at the head of the several-hundred-strong crowd: the bright red FRSO banner, the green banner of the Milwaukee Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, and the smaller black flag of New Students for a Democratic Society—probably the local University of Wisconsin—Parkside branch.
Just before the march, a young woman led the crowd in a chant of “long live the revolution” directly in front of the signature FRSO banner. FRSO Facebook pages (both Wisconsin and national) contain extensive coverage of the protests and riots—as does the FRSO-affiliated website FightBack! News.
The Milwaukee Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression Facebook page issued a call to free arrested protester Adelana Akindes—a leader of the UW–Parkside New Students for a Democratic Society.
The Milwaukee Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression is led by FRSO member Lauryn Cross.
A Wisconsin FRSO Facebook page post on Aug. 25 features a quote from Mao over a picture of the Kenosha protest and the hashtags #Justice4JacobBlake #NationalLiberation and #Kenosha.
“The people, and the people alone, are the motive force in the making of world history.” — Mao Zedong
The Facebook post then highlights “our comrades on the frontlines down in Kenosha tonight.”
FRSO’s FightBack! News declared:
“Members of the Milwaukee Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression and Freedom Road Socialist Organization are participating in the protests.”
The morning after the first riots, FightBack! News described the previous night’s chaos as an “Uprising underway in Kenosha:”
“Riot police assembled at the scene of the shooting as the crowd began to gather, including members of the Milwaukee Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression. Those assembled quickly grew restless in their anger. Squad cars were smashed and Molotovs thrown. The people chased the cops away and then set off on a march to the Kenosha Police Department (KPD) downtown.
“When protesters arrived at the KPD building, they rallied in the front parking lot. As the crowd swelled, SWAT trucks and riot cops rolled onto the scene. Tear gas was deployed, but not enough to disperse the crowd. The riot police formed a line and attempted to push the crowd away from the building and out of the parking lot. The people met them with linked arms and prevented their advance. Holding strong, the people chanted ‘No justice, no peace!’ and ‘Jacob Blake!’
“Eventually, the riot police began to retreat into the police station. People from the crowd threw fireworks behind the row of cops. Then the second wave of tear gas was fired into the line of protesters, this time in a more substantial quantity, forcing them to break up. In spite of these efforts, the people would not quit. More cop cars were smashed and other vehicles used by KPD to block roads were set on fire.”
The language is similar to that used in the wake of the Minneapolis riots. During an interview with the Green Flame podcast (that has since been removed from their website), Minneapolis FRSO comrade and protest organizer Sundin said:
“The first two weeks after George Floyd was killed saw an intense high level of organizing all day and all night every day. During the day we would have marches and rallies and at night the focus was often at the Third Precinct. Which is the police station where George Floyd’s killers were working out of. … I can’t tell you the joy it brought all of us to see the Third Precinct destroyed.”
Speaking to a crowd in Milwaukee two days before Blake was gravely wounded in Kenosha, prominent Wisconsin FRSO leader Ryan Hamann publicly praised the arson of Minneapolis’ Third Precinct police station:
“On May 28, thousands more in that city organized and marched and forced the police into a full retreat from the Third Precinct police station and it was righteously burned.”
The FRSO follows the Chinese Communist Party line. Their connections to the riots in Minneapolis, Kenosha, and more than a dozen other cities across the United States aren’t hard to find.
Are authorities loathe to point out that China’s loyal American comrades are burning American cities?
How many more cities have to be destroyed before authorities are willing to act?
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. He is best known for his book “Enemies Within: Communists, Socialists and Progressives in the U.S. Congress” and his similarly themed documentary film “Enemies Within.” His recently published book is “White House Reds: Communists, Socialists & Security Risks Running for U.S. President, 2020.”
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.