… working a few different updates for the blog, including an MRTA piece ( personally, I think the support work we did around the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement’s takeover of the Japanese embassy in Lima in 1996 was our ‘finest moment’ ), a feature on Dutch guerrilla organization Revolutionary Anti-Racist Action, and an entry on Turkey’s DHKP-C / Devrimici Sol …
… also working on uploading the communiques from the Red Guerrilla Resistance ( “The Red Guerrilla Resistance is a communist politico/military organization comprised of revolutionaries from the North American oppressor nation. Over the last few years we have initiated a program of armed propaganda and done a number of armed actions under the name of the Revolutionary Fighting Group and Armed Resistance Unit.” ) I’ve previously uploaded the RGR’s discussion paper as well as lots of info about the folks arrested for the actions of the RGR …
… here’s a news article about the bombing of the U.S. Capitol in 1983 as well as the communique … side-note: the two pictures of the damage to the inside of the Capitol were part of a series of photos that somehow ended up in our hands … they were part of the evidence presented at the Resistance Conspiracy Case 6 trial …
November 9, 1983
The FBI believes the group that claimed responsibility for an explosion that damaged the Capitol Monday night has been involved, either directly or through affiliated groups, in a series of bombings of federal or corporate offices in New York and Washington over the last year, according to informed sources.
A tape recorded message was telephoned to The Washington Post moments before the explosion at 11 p.m. and said that the action was being taken by the Armed Resistance Unit in support of “all nations’ struggle” against U.S. military aggression in Grenada and Lebanon. A second call, also recorded, warned the Capitol switchboard that a bomb was about to go off.
Moments later, an explosion left piles of rubble just outside the doors to the Senate chamber, blowing out a wall partition and windows, ripping through the Republican Cloakroom, and damaging several works of art on the second floor. The bomb appeared to have been placed on or under a window well seat in a corridor leading to the Senate chamber.
Congressional aides said the blast, while it apparently caused no structural damage, probably will cost at least $1 million to repair.
Security was immediately tightened at the Capitol and other government buildings yesterday. Several federal office buildings and Metro’s Capitol South subway station were closed temporarily after numerous bomb threats were received during the day.
The D.C. police warned commanders that terrorist groups could strike again and ordered special surveillance of federal and District government buildings, courthouses, embassies and police facilities.
In a news conference yesterday morning, an outraged Senate Minority Leader Robert C. Byrd (D-W.Va.), whose office doors were blown off in the incident, called the explosion “an offense against all the people.”
“It was like a shrapnel explosion,” Senate Majority Leader Howard H. Baker Jr. (R-Tenn.) said. “It really could have been bad; there could have been a loss of life if the Senate had been in session.”
Sen. Jeremiah Denton (R-Ala), chairman of a security and terrorism subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee, described the bombing as “an attack that strikes at the heart of our constitutional democracy.”
“It takes incidents such as the attack on our marines in Lebanon or a bomb going off in the Capitol to obtain the attention that could have and should have been accorded to the problem earlier,” said Denton, who sharply criticized the news media for not giving sufficient coverage to the earlier findings of his subcommittee.
The bomb appeared to have been placed near the Mansfield Room, across the hall from the Republican Cloakroom and diagonally across from the minority leader’s office.
It caused major damage to arches, and the walls outside and inside the Republican Cloakroom were pockmarked with fist-sized holes. Glass in the wall separating the hallway from the cloakroom was shattered.
The explosion ripped a 19th-century oil portrait of Sen. Daniel Webster from its gilt frame and shredded a portrait of John C. Calhoun, Capitol officials said. Four other paintings were slightly damaged and were removed for examination.
Other prized furnishings also were damaged. A grandfather clock that has stood outside the Senate chamber since 1859 was stopped by the blast, which also blackened one eye of a marble bust of Theodore Roosevelt. Glazed tiles installed in the 1850s by English craftsmen were torn from the floor and propelled through the window of the Republican Cloakroom. Woodwork and gold molding outside the Mansfield Room were ripped apart in the explosion.
The FBI, which is investigating the incident along with the District police, Capitol police and Secret Service, is understood to be reviewing video tapes taken by surveillance cameras hidden in Capitol alcoves in an effort to determine the identity of the person or persons responsible.
At a news conference yesterday, Theodore M. Gardner, the FBI’s special agent in charge of the Washington Field Office, said that dynamite appears to have been used.
“It was a high-explosive device with delayed timing,” Gardner said, disclosing that the Armed Resistance Unit is the same group that claimed responsibility for a bomb blast last April at the National War College building at Fort McNair in Southwest Washington.
In that incident, as in Monday’s, no one was injured, the explosive material was set off with a timing device, and the blast was preceded by tape recorded messages played during telephone calls. The messages referred to U.S. imperialism, American bases, and Guatemala.
Yesterday, National Public Radio received in the mail a typewritten “communique” from the Armed Resistance Unit saying, “Tonight we bombed the U.S. Capitol building.”
The letter continues: “We attacked the U.S. government to retaliate against imperialist aggression that that has sent the Marines, the CIA, and the Army to invade sovereign nations, to trample and lay waste the lives and rights of the peoples of Grenada, Lebanon, El Salvador, and Nicaragua, to carry out imperialism’s need to dominate, oppress, and exploit.”
Saying the group consciously aimed its attack at American institutions as opposed to individuals, the letter refers approvingly to attempts by nationalists to create an independent Puerto Rican nation and calls for “Victory to the FMLN/FDR” and support for the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).
FMLN and FDR are two groups among interrelated organizations that have claimed responsibility for the bombings that have plagued institutions in Washington and New York, the FBI believes. Several receive backing and money from the Cuban government, according to information received by the bureau from U.S. intelligence agencies.
The most visible organizations have been the FMLN, the Spanish acronym for Farabundo Marti Liberation Front, and its political arm, the Democratic Revolutionary Front, or FDR. Based in El Salvador, the FMLN is composed of guerrillas who receive Cuban aid and cooperate with both the Armed Resistance Unit and a Puerto Rican terrorist group called the FALN, according to the FBI.
In the most recent bombing, the United Freedom Front claimed responsibility for two bombs that damaged a Bronx Army Reserve Center Aug. 20. Kenneth Walton, deputy assistant FBI director in charge of the New York office, said at the time that the group is also known as the Armed Resistance Unit and the Revolutionary Fighting Group.
On Aug. 18, a small explosive device caused minor damage to the outside of a building housing a computer operation at the Washington Navy Yard. The FMLN, in a tape recorded call, claimed responsibility.
On May 12, explosions rocked military reserve centers in Nassau and Queens counties in New York. The FBI said the United Freedom Front was believed responsible.
Last Jan. 28, a man identifying himself as a member of the Revolutionary Fighting Group called United Press International to claim responsibility for a bomb that exploded near an FBI office in New York.
On New Year’s Eve, four bombs exploded within 90 minutes of one another, rocking four government buildings, including New York City police headquarters and U.S. District Court in Brooklyn. A caller claimed at least two of the bombings were done by the FALN, while another caller said the PLO was responsible.
Armed Resistance Unit
Communique No. 3
The U.S. Capitol Bombing
November 7, 1983
Tonight we bombed the U.S. Capitol. We attacked the U.S. government to retaliate against imperialist aggression that has sent the marines, the CIA and the army to invade sovereign nations, to trample and lay waste to the lives and rights of the peoples of Grenada, Lebanon, El Salvador, and Nicaragua, to carry out imperialism’s need to dominate, oppress, and exploit. Every act of the U.S. military – directed by the White House and Congress – has been nothing less than an outright attack on the fundamental right of nations to self-determination, peace and freedom. These acts have been carried out with cynical disregard for life as well as for truth. Reagan calls progress and revolution “terrorism” and tries to portray the true terrorism of imperialist invasion as “democracy” and “freedom”. Only a government arrogant enough to believe that its economic and political needs should dominate the whole world can call the invasion of Grenada a “rescue operation”, the invasion of Lebanon a “peace-keeping mission”, the fascist rulers of El Salvador “democracy’s friends”, and the contras “freedom fighters”. The Reagan lie that the invasion of Grenada prevented a “Cuban takeover” is nothing less than a pretext for eliminating a Black socialist nation in the Caribbean. Last year, in a dress rehearsal called “Ocean Venture”, the U.S. armed forces practised the Grenadian invasion on the island of Vieques, Puerto Rico. The vicious attack on the socialist nation of Cuba – which has provided a consistent, revolutionary example of proletarian internationalism – and the attempt to discredit and destroy the People’s Revolutionary Army and the New Jewel Movement of the Grenadian people, show the extent to which the U.S. will go in order to control and dominate Latin America, Central America, and the Caribbean, and to try to defeat socialism in the region. With the collusion of the press, the U.S. government is building anti-communism to justify these attacks and further military aggression to resolve its own internal economic and political problems.
We are acting in solidarity with all those leading the fight against U.S. imperialism – the peoples of Grenada, Lebanon, Palestine, El Salvador, and Nicaragua – who are confronting direct U.S. aggression, and those, like the people of Chile and the Philippines, who are struggling to free their nations from U.S. puppet regimes. They are all paying a tremendous price for freedom, and we commit ourselves to fight with the same seriousness for the same goals – self-determination for oppressed nations, the total defeat of imperialism, and the building of a socialist world.
Our action also carries a message to the anti-imperialist movement here, that we need to resist and fight as people all over the world are doing – with principle, consistency and determination. We join with all the people across the U.S., and the millions throughout the world, who condemn U.S. imperialist aggression. Our solidarity with the liberation struggles under attack by U.S. imperialism must be uncompromising, militant, and unwavering in supporting the right of those nations to self-determination. We cannot fall into the trap of debating which wing of the government has the right to declare war, or which politician might be less blatant in his racism and anti-communism, nor can we be fooled by those bourgeois politicians who claim to be sympathetic to Third World nations – and who would more “humanely” exploit those nations in the interest of U.S. imperialism. The enemy is the imperialist system. Electoral politics and pacifism are paths that have been tried many times, and that have failed. To follow those paths now will only weaken and undermine the movement and defeat our attempts to organize greater numbers of people to resist.
Our action carries a message to the U.S. imperialist ruling class: we purposely aimed our attack at the institutions of imperialist rule rather than at individual members of the ruling class and government. We did not choose to kill any of them at this time. But their lives are not sacred, and their hands are stained with the blood of millions. Let it be clear to the people of this country as it is to the rest of the people of the world that the U.S. ruling class are war criminals, and they will be held accountable for their crimes.
33 years ago almost to the day, Oscar Collazo and Griselio Torresola, two Puerto Rican Nationalists fighting for Independence for Puerto Rico, attacked another part of imperialist power – the Commander-in-Chief, the President of the U.S. Their action was one of the first in which the oppressed brought the war back to the doorsteps of the oppressor. We salute them and all Puerto Rican, Mexican, New Afrikan, Native American and North American freedom fighters who have been killed or captured in the struggle. To them also, our action carries a message – our commitment to carry on the struggle.
U.S. Military Out Of Grenada, Lebanon And Central America!
Defend The Grenadian And Nicaraguan Revolutions!
Victory To The FMLN/FDR!
Support The Lebanese National Movement And The P.L.O.!
Fight U.S. Imperialism!
Build A Revolutionary Resistance Movement!