Communists Come To Anna Street?

Greetings, comrades! Let’s Take Back Anaheim!

Yeah, I did a double take, too.

But according to this post on The Other Side of the Tracks blog, it is true: Revolutionary Communist Party members — and By Any Means Necessary (BAMN) activists — descended on Anna Street in the wake August shooting, trying to “radicalize local youths” and organize residents. Fortunately, they didn’t seem to have much luck, judging from the resident responses reported in the post.

This isn’t from some right-wing fringe blog, but a blog operated by a self-described Occupy journalist named Amber Stephens.

Putting aside amazement that there are still Americans who not only believe in communism but try to convince others it is a good idea, read this excerpt from Ms. Stephens’ post:

Meanwhile, two groups have made their presence known in the Anna Drive neighborhood, seeking to radicalize local youths in the aftermath of the tragedy: the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP) and the aforementioned BAMN. The Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration and Immigrant Rights and Fight for Equality By Any Means Necessary (a.k.a. BAMN) formed in 1995 in response to the UC Regents’ decision to ban affirmative action. In recent years, the group has taken on police brutality in communities with people of color, most notably the police-shooting death of Oscar Grant in Oakland.

BAMN organizer Adam Lerman spent the weeks following Diaz’s death talking to residents. From his conversations, Lerman says, the neighborhood seems conflicted as to how to move forward. “They are of two minds: Do we go public and try to be bold? Or do we keep quiet and hope justice is served?”

As the group rallies for oft-ignored communities, the recent riots and subsequent media attention have made the task different from others. BAMN’s planned march followed the same route Mayor Tom Tait took the previous night, his first visit to Anna Drive since the shooting.

Lerman defended the groups’ action, saying he doesn’t see a separation between the grieving process and justice. “Families and communities aren’t able to move on until justice is done,” he says. “If we can get the neighborhood to step up to be leaders, we can turn things around. The city government knows and fears the power this neighborhood has to do so. If we don’t keep marching, if we don’t keep fighting, nothing is going to come out of these investigations they are promising.”

Keith James, along with three other members of the RCP, came to the community from Los Angeles to speak and listen to residents several times in the couple of weeks following the shooting. “When everyone talks about ‘outside agitators,’ they are worried about the [protester] violence,” he says. “After listening to the heartfelt outpouring of residents grappling with the magnitude of the situation, it seems absurd to equate that with the police violence that has occurred in this community.”

Real live Commies in Anaheim (maybe the can adopt Mickey Mao as their mascot).

Strange days, indeed.

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