3 min read

"Weekend Actions"

Didn't expect this in the wall.
"Weekend Actions"
Dot matrix Mao, rescued today from the wall at 615.

Today we worked on readying the kitchen for drywall replacement of the drop ceiling and the thickly painted 1970s paneling. I’ll tell you more about how it's going tomorrow, but for tonight I thought I’d just share what we found in a kitchen wall: a couple of pamphlets about a special communist project at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) in 1971.

Below you’ll find what the main pamphlet had to say. The second pamphlet contained the “China Week” agenda, which featured guerilla actions along with panel discussions. (Academics!) I've preserved all the original punctuation and capitalization. Please enjoy.

International Liberation Studies [ILS]

ILS is one recognition of the need for revolutionary work by American academics and professionals. This university is a focus for present and future professional work. It is also one of our most intense experiences of U.S. death culture. This university fosters our personal isolation and our aimlessness, our self-contempt, and our self-pity. This corporate university oppresses the entire community of Ann Arbor by providing today and preparing for tomorrow tens of thousands of useless, self-effacing jobs. Revolution for academics, students and faculty alike, is usually a word game. Revolution must now become practical work, protracted struggle, a gut experience of joy as each individual recreates himself [word obscured] his community.

Weekend radical chic really is passé; revolution has never been a fashion. Acvitity that will make functional social change is that which occurs each day in classrooms and departmental office blocks and each night in dormitories and faculty housing. Profound ideological struggle “on the job” is the only stimulus that will lead to successful community-wide “weekend actions.”

The crackpot realist cynicism that characterizes academic discussion of revolution is the most telling sign of the ulcerous impotence and insecurity that students and faculty share. We have been socialized with the illusion of individual independence until we are atomized and convinced of our weakness and corruption. Professors muddle through classes and publications and refuse to participate in China Weeks because they have eyes on the next departmental promotions; students grub degrees and wax ecstatic over job opportunities to bring ecology to Gulf Oil, and blow a little good weed to space out their frustrations. Both must kill parts of themselves each day in order to survive to the next.


We must drop out of our slave roles within the U.S. imperialist systems. We should utilize our personal interests and skills in ever more personally and socially liberating ways. 

CHINA WEEK is the first ILS project. It is a project of political education, of information sharing, of ideological struggle. As initiators of the project and of ILS, ARM (American Revolutionary Media) tried to induct as much energy and participation from experts in Chinese studies as possible to create a program that would serve the people in Ann Arbor. We tried to challenge their academic liberalism and push them to use their expertise in as revolutionary a way as possible. We can readily envision East Asian scholars serving broad masses of people by popularizing truthful information and analysis of Chinese revolutionary society, and Japanese and U.S. imperialism. 

We have chosen educational and cultural media work to bring the revolutionary work experience into focus with the American peoples’ experience of oppression.

This week we have confronted the death styles of work and life in America with verbal and visual images of the collective and personal joy and vitality of the Chinese people. We demand that the academic community undertake revolution, and that each individual act on his or her ability to serve the people, not the power structure.

ILS will be taking a China event on the road throughout Michigan. Our hope is to present some of the media elements with local workshops in several smaller college communities.

Beyond that, the next ILS project will be to bring detailed, indepth information about VietNam to Ann Arbor and Michigan in conjunction with the People’s Peace initiative this spring. Research about VietNam and research in all fields towards serving the needs of the American peoples is urgently needed. Both formal and information class offerings are required to break the authority of power structure-oriented “academic” disciplines and encourage revolutionary knowledge and consciousness.

These are a few specific ILS projects we hope to encourage in the months ahead. We welcome your participation in these and your independent creation of new ones.