By the Editorial Board
June 19 marks the Day of Heroism for revolutionaries all over the world; a day where resistance to state repression and genocide are observed in the example of the prisoners of war in Peru, who bravely fought to the death against the state’s genocidal plan in several prison uprisings.
The Peruvian state finalized its plans for the genocide of the prisoners on October 4, 1985, and initially carried them out against 30 fighters in the Lurigancho prison. On June 18, 1986, the imprisoned revolutionaries and people of Lurigancho, El Fronton, and Callao rebelled against the newly implemented genocide, denouncing it publicly and through official channels. They rose in rebellion in defense of the revolution, embodied in the People’s War led by the Communist Party of Peru, as well as their own lives which were under direct threat by the desperate reactionary state under the APRA party and its fascist leader Alan Garcia.
The prisoners of war and children of the masses raised 26 grievances. The imprisoned revolutionaries had worked with other prisoners to convert the decaying dungeons of the old state into Shining Trenches of Combat. No more were the prisons black markets of drugs, prostitution, and abuse. The prisoners now received political education, engaged in small-scale production and sold items to benefit the people; they improved health, sanitation, and communalized food through militarized prison life. The reactionary state could not handle their own prisons being turned into revolutionary schools of war, and so began their dark crusade to commit genocide against the prisoners of war.
On June 19, the fascist Garcia implemented his plan to mobilize the Army, Air Force, Navy, and police forces against the prison uprisings under a joint command. On that day they proceeded to murder hundreds of guerrillas, children of the people, and Communists. The prisoners fought heroically without fear or relent, they used improvised and homemade weapons as well as seized weapons from the well-armed enemy. It is not the genocide which stands out, all reactionary states commit such crimes against the people, it is the resistance to it which burnt an indelible mark onto the history of revolution. It is the glorious resistance in the Shining Trenches of Combat that will never be forgotten.
The Resistance has Marked June 19 as the Day of Heroism.
In a speech delivered one year later in 1987, Chairman Gonzalo of the Communist Party of Peru, the world’s greatest living Communist, proclaimed that “becoming Prisoners of War, they never bent their knees, but continuing to fight, mobilize, and produce through hard work, they transformed the sordid dungeons of the obsolete, putrid Peruvian State into Shining Trenches of Combat.”
The Peruvian State dreamed of using such genocidal measures to destroy the People’s War so that they could be unhindered in their ruthless genocide against the people. In reality such crimes against the people only serve to steel them in revolutionary fervor and class hatred, proving Chairman Mao’s lesson: to be attacked by the enemy is a good thing. The People’s War persists and continues to this day, and the Day of Heroism inspires revolutionaries all over the world to fight tirelessly against the odds, no matter how barbaric and genocidal the enemy becomes, as it exposes the enemy and strengthens the people.
As the US imperialist state and its police target over 10,000 people with criminal offenses for rebelling against the racist and obsolete system in the recent uprisings, the Day of Heroism offers a special example. No matter the charges, no matter the bloodshed, the people can and must stay true to their struggles. To give ones life to such a just cause is a quota for changing the world, and the heroic prisoners of Peru taught with their actions how this can be accomplished.
The rebellions in El Fronton, Lurigancho, and Callao affirmed the revolutionary truth of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, Gonzalo Thought, that it is right to rebel, and the uprisings and new wave of political prisoners in the US confirms this truth as well. It is the very basis of Marxism, the science which will be used to transform the old world into the new.
The example of the heroes turns genocide into a great moral, political, and military victory. When the proletariat constitutes or reconstitutes for itself the militarized Marxist-Leninist-Maoist, principally Maoist Communist Party, nothing is impossible. The working class and the people of the US require such a Party, and the ever escalating class struggles make reconstituting the Party inevitable. Hundreds and thousands of the best children of the masses are being steeled in class struggle, in resistance to the police and racism, and of course inevitably in the resistance it takes mentally and physically when incarcerated. The system’s violent and disturbed attacks against the people sew class hatred and ready a whole generation for a revolutionary struggle unseen in this country. Marx was 1,000 times correct when he proclaimed that the capitalist produces, above all, those who will undo this system, its own grave diggers.
Every Crime Against the People will be Atoned for
This is not possible by way of pleading with the oppressor. It is not possible by participating in their farcical elections or pretending that their ‘democracy’ extends to the poor and downtrodden. There is no justice except for People’s Justice, hard-won in class struggle and culminating in armed struggle, where the sea of armed masses will hold their tormentors directly accountable and the workers not only seize power and maintain it through the New State, but continue the socialist revolution under their rule until the world’s proletariat, all together as the final class in human history, enters Communism. This is where the world is heading, and time must not be wasted.
A Day of Solidarity and Resistance for the Prisoners of War and Political Prisoners all over the World!
“All things reactionary are alike, if you do not hit them, they will not fall.” This is an invaluable lesson from Chairman Mao which must be inscribed into the very fabric of the struggle, consciously and invariably. All over the world the dungeons of the capitalists and their servile pets are filled with the most courageous and vibrant living revolutionaries. From the People’s Wars in Peru, Turkey, India, and the Philippines, to Europe, Asia, Africa, South and North America, those who threaten the old wretched order of things are locked away. With the heightened internal contradictions of the imperialist states, in the conditions of the global New Depression and the coronavirus pandemic, the masses rise in rebellion and revolutionaries lead them and this compels the imperialists all over the world to lock away more of the best. Support and defense of Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War is a great responsibility for those who seek to create a new society. Those outside of prison must take up the sworn duty of remembering and honoring those inside. The capitalist society is a large prison, and those in the small prison must never be left to languish at the hands of the enemy. It is one fight in separate trenches.
Email Tribune of the People for more information on the Day of Heroism as well as ways you can get organized in the fight against state repression and attempts to incarcerate the people who have risen up against police violence. We will now conclude with photos of actions carried out in observance of the Day of Heroism over the past two years.