Organizing in the Age of COVID

Black Like Mao
5 min readApr 20, 2020


Let’s be real with ourselves for a moment. What we’re going through on a global scale is a once in a century event. Things will never be the same again. COVID is not going to magically go away at the flip of a switch. Millions of people are out of work. On the day this article was written the price of oil hit exactly $0 dollars, plummeting into the negative in some cases. As Mao said, all under heaven is chaos. Is the situation excellent? This situation offers those of us who are Communists a perfect opportunity to display our competence, our ability to conquer dual power, and give order to our communities, our apartment buildings, and our workplaces if we are still employed. We are in a situation where contradictions are sharpening and widening, the gulf between colonized and colonizer, real proletarian and petit bourgeoisie, is broadening and becoming violently real and on display. We see colonizer doctors strangling colonized youth in Kentucky, and Black woman workers dying with their final checks totaling $20 and change. We see Black bus drivers dying in droves. We see hospital workers wearing garbage bags as PPE. What is to be done?

What is the Communist task? To organize the people for violent armed struggle led by a vanguard party of the proletariat, principally the colonized proletariat. Communists must never tire of explaining to the people in ways they can understand the reasons for the worsening situation. Why doesn’t the government step in to provide personal protective equipment, food, rent and mortgage protections, and other things as in other countries? Because this government is not a government of the people, the people who produce, meaning the colonized proletariat, do not rule. What is the Communist response? To organize and change the existing order of things by force, leading to the forced breakup of the US empire and the overthrow of the capitalist-imperialist ruling class along with the fascist colonizer caste which is currently in the stage of demanding the “reopening” of the country. Black and Brown people are already open. It is we who are toiling in the fields and working the grocery stores, putting ourselves at risk of being infected so that ungrateful colonizers continue to have food to eat, while our children suffer and starve. It is we who drive busses and continue to work the garbage routes. Meanwhile, European colonizers, mainly the petit-bourgeoisie, labor aristocrats, and segments of the semi/proletariat which are led politically by the first two, are testing out more fascism, staging “gridlock protests” and appearing armed on the steps of state capitol buildings from Minnesota to Florida demanding that black and brown labor continue to serve their selfish whims and desires. These are astroturf protests occurring under the approving eye and with the express permission of that representative of the basest desires, hopes and dreams of the colonizer caste throughout history: President Donald J. Trump.

Communist organizers must unite across tendencies to provide day to day relief to people on the ground. When people are starving, they don’t give a shit if the people leaving bags of fresh fruit and vegetables at their door are Marxist-Leninists, Maoists, Trots, or Anarchists. If your first response is to dump on those who are putting in work on the ground providing for the material needs of the people, you are unqualified to lead in any circumstance. I’ve seen that some of our dogmato-revisionist friends over in Gonzaloite cloud-cuckoo land have used their time to split their self-aggrandizing blog posing as a newspaper on the basis of nitpicking an article about the pandemic, along with releasing a bunch of silly and grandstanding articles from their “theoretical” mouthpiece, Struggle Sessions. On reddit they’re calling the New People’s Army “braindead” for supposedly agreeing to a ceasefire to serve the people. Later for them — the masses don’t read that shit, the Filipinos find them amusing first world anarchists, and Gonzaloites ain’t seizing power anytime soon. I’ve also seen a few leftcoms doing what leftcoms do — be useless. They were self-quarantined before it became mandatory. Maoists who are rooted in the people and serving their needs are seizing community gardens to grow for the people, building handwashing stations for the houseless uniting with organizers of other tendencies to propagate rent strikes, and engaging in creative forms of organizing to demonstrate to the people in practice what is possible through organization and development of on the ground revolutionary practice tailored to our concrete conditions.

This is a political pandemic — propaganda must be carried out to this effect. Spraypainting slogans and wheatpasting material can be carried out while following social distancing and personal protection measures. Furthermore, there are still enemies to be hit. Right now the main focus should be on landlords who continue to prey on the people during the pandemic. Be creative, and practice basic operational security procedures when planning actions. In prisons, we see inmates rioting and rebelling against being forced to continue to live in death camps — in one prison, 73% of inmates have contracted COVID. Support them. Grow, collectively package and distribute food and PPE. A lot of mutual aid efforts, financial in particular, are centered around the activist/leftist community, which is colonizer dominated in many areas — do the people in the colonized, working class parts of town who may not be in the activist community (yet) have access to these mutual aid networks? If not, flyer these neighborhoods and educate the people about how they can tap in — don’t practice racism by hoarding resources and funds that working class colonized people need. If you can donate to stupid bullshit like Chapo Trap House’s patreon or Bernie Sanders’ dead and buried campaign, you can contribute to a working class colonized organization like Black Hammer, or various FTP organizations, which are doing quite well in responding to the crisis in a myriad of ways. This shit matters.

Don’t slack on political education. Collectively select an article or two to study and discuss every week. I will be hosting a class beginning on May 1 about revolutionary theory and history, it’s already got 100 people signed up. People are more thirsty for theory that explains this shit than ever, and many have extra time on their hands after becoming unemployed. Don’t study for study’s sake — tie it in and build off this study as a basis for organizing in your community. What problems are being exacerbated by the pandemic? Get together and solve them. Sum up your practice and build off of that.

People are more militant than ever. The risk of a death choking on one’s own lung fluid makes you think some kinda way. Furthermore, the government obviously doesn’t give a shit. The election is a farce rapidly fading from the mind of the people — Biden is running to the right of the fascist Trump. These are odd times — the question for the Communist movement in the United States is whether or not we will actually measure up to the demands of power in the first place, or continue arguing with the wind while the right consolidates and broadens its power from top to bottom.