Pro-China communists from the Liberation Road group have insinuated their supporters and allies into several key positions in the city government of Durham, North Carolina.
If the communists can turn North Carolina blue, President Donald Trump will likely lose the 2020 election—handing Democrats and their socialist allies a near-permanent monopoly on power. By establishing a political base in Durham, the comrades aim to project their power and city resources across the entire state.
North Carolina MaoistsSince 1985, the Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO) has been the pre-eminent pro-China communist party in the country, absorbing cadre from several other Maoist groups along the way, including the Communist Workers Party, Line of March, and League of Revolutionary Struggle.
In April this year, the FRSO changed its name to Liberation Road—partially at least to sound fewer alarm bells as it proceeds to infiltrate the Democratic Party.
In the 2000s, FRSO began sending comrades from California, Massachusetts, and New York to beef up the numbers, soon making the Maoists the most significant force on the left in the region. This was part of a deliberate colonization of Southern states, particularly Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, and Florida. FRSO targeted the South because of its high concentration of black and Hispanic potential voters, which, coupled with a history of racial polarization, made for great revolutionary potential.
North Carolina, one of the most politically marginal Republican-held states in the South was a prime target. Durham, with the largest concentration of black voters in the state, became ground zero for the Maoists. FRSO supporters began to infiltrate Durham student unions, community groups, labor unions, churches, and local government.
In recent years, FRSO has moved away from traditional street activism into more of an electoral focus. The organization now has the numbers and influence to impact elections at both state and local level.
FRSO is extremely secretive about membership, but I estimate there are around a hundred cadre in the Triangle area and another 200 supporters or allies. Many FRSO/Liberation Road people lead key organizations that are able to mobilize several thousand people at a time.
Durham People’s AllianceIn the early 1970s, Durham activists affiliated with the communist New American Movement formed two collectives—a health collective and a socialist feminist collective. In 1973, the health collective became the Durham Organizing Committee (DOC). The DOC later split, some members entering a Marxist-Leninist collective that eventually became the Communist Workers Party and others forming the Durham People’s Alliance (DPA).
Since that time, the DPA has become a major force in local politics. With the ability to raise money and a small army of door knockers and phone-bankers, DPA’s endorsement is widely sought by candidates on the left.
Durham Association of EducatorsThe Triangle area has experienced widespread education labor unrest in recent years, mainly because of the Durham Association of Educators (DAE), a local affiliate of the North Carolina Association of Educators (NCAE) and the National Education Association.
Longtime FRSO/Liberation Road cadre Bryan Proffit is on the board of the NCAE and was president of the DAE.
Durham For AllLaunched in early 2016, Durham For All grew out of a group of FRSO supporters who had been working together for some years on local politics.
Durham For All is a completely Liberation Road creation and is the counterpart of similar front groups Richmond For All in Virginia and Memphis For All in Tennessee.
Durham For All plans to build a force in Durham of 10,000 people to first take control of the city, then the entire state. The first goals were to take control of the City Council in 2017 to 2019 then to flip the state to the Democrats in 2020.
“Corporations and right-wing politicians have rigged the political system, and we’ve had enough. Together, we are building a cross-class, multiracial movement in Durham that is 10,000 people strong. ...
“Power comes from thousands of people speaking up and deciding to take action. That’s why our plan is based on building people power from the ground up. The plan has three stages:
“Stage 1: Build a Mandate. 2017. With the launch of our 10K Strong Campaign, we trained leaders like you to ask family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers to sign our 10K Strong Pledge and join the movement for a Durham for All. In less than a year, over 4,500 people said “yes” and signed on! These commitments were the foundation for a new political vision of a Durham rooted in the principles of a Durham for all of us. Grounded in these principles, we organized in working class and people of color communities to find new leaders and get out the vote. Together, we elected a progressive, people of color majority to Durham’s City Council!
“Stage 2: Build a Model. 2018. Through our Decriminalize Durham Campaign, we successfully piloted a base-building model that (1) activated and developed leaders in working class and people of color communities, (2) invited and supported hundreds of people to take new risks in organizing, and (3) translated election victories into policy wins via participatory democracy. We endorsed and elected officials who committed to fighting mass incarceration and stopping deportations ....
Reece was treasurer of the North Carolina Democratic Party and a past board member and secretary of the DPA.
Schewel, Johnson, Reece, and Caballero were all endorsed as a team by Durham For All.
The left won everything. They passed the housing bond and now hold five of the six City Council seats, plus the mayoralty.
In 2018, DPA members also helped elect Satana Deberry for district attorney and Clarence Birkhead for sheriff.
“Tonight we made history in Durham by electing Satana Deberry for DA and Clarence Birkhead for sheriff - both committed to ending mass incarceration and fighting deportations. There are so many things to say about this but tonight I just feel humbled and nourished by the calling to build political power with our people.”So, stage one of the FRSO Durham For All plan is pretty well accomplished, according to their original aims. Liberation Road and its allied organizations pretty much have a lock on North Carolina’s fourth largest city and its 275,000 citizens.
Can the Maoists Take the State?Liberation Road has a strong presence in the state. So do their allies the Democratic Socialists of America, which has branches in Charlotte, Durham, Greensboro, Raleigh, Chapel Hill, Asheville, Winston-Salem, and the Yadkin Valley.
Between Durham For All, the DPA, DAE, North Carolina AFL-CIO, and the voter registration groups listed above, Liberation Road and its allies have the power to mobilize several thousand election workers against Republican candidates.
If the left is working hard to re-elect Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper and Attorney General Josh Stein, they’re even more determined to defeat Republican Sen. Thom Tillis—considered one the most vulnerable in the country. The Democrats need to flip five State Senate seats for a majority and six seats in the State House.
If the left can defeat Sen. Tillis and flip one or both houses of the state legislature, North Carolina will be well down the road to becoming a Democratic state, just like Virginia was about three years ago.
Pro-China communists from FRSO/Liberation Road stole Virginia from under the nose of the Republican Party. If North Carolina is allowed to go down the same path then Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, and Texas will soon follow suit. The Republican Party will then be finished as a national force.
There is no excuse for the Republican Party to allow that to happen—if they care at all about their own survival that is.