April Knutson

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April Ane Knutson...

Communist Party reformer

In 1991, April Knutson was one of several hundred Communist Party USA members to sign the a paper "An initiative to Unite and Renew the Party" - most signatories left the Party after the December 1991 conference to found Committees of Correspondence.[1]

CoC National Conference endorser

In 1992 April Knutson, Center for Advanced Feminist Studies, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis,, endorsed the Committees of Correspondence national conference Conference on Perspectives for Democracy and Socialism in the 90s held at Berkeley California July 17-19.[2]

Conference on Perspectives for Democracy and Socialism in the 90s

The Conference on Perspectives for Democracy and Socialism in the 90s was the Committees of Correspondence's first national conference held in Berkeley, California July 17-19, 1992.[3]

Workshops that were held at the conference on Saturday, July 18 included:[4]

New World Order Confronting the "New World Order". The multinational corporation, inter-imperialist rivalry, anti-imperialism and the struggle for peace, disarmament and non-intervention.

Committees of Correspondence

At the Committees of Correspondence conference, Berkeley California, July 17-19, 1992, April Knutson was a candidate[5]for the CoC National Coordinating Committee-Minneapolis Cuba solidarity and women's activist.

Minnesota CoC editorial collective

In the early 1990s, Editorial Collective of the Minnesota Committee of Correspondence were  : April Knutson, Lenore Burgard, Doris Marquit, Erwin Marquit, Janet Quaife, and Hal Schwartz.[6]

Nature, Society and Thought

In the late 2000s, April Knutson (French literature, Univ. of Minnesota) was an assistant editor of University of Minnesota based Marxist journal Nature, Society and Thought[7];.

“U.S. hands off Venezuela!”

According to Wyatt Miller February 24, 2019 in FightBack News!. Minneapolis, MN – The streets were full of working-class solidarity on Saturday, February 23, when well over 100 people, including trade unionists, Latin America solidarity groups and anti-war activists gathered under the banner “U.S. hands off Venezuela!”

The event was part of a global day of action to protest the ongoing U.S.-backed coup attempt against the democratically elected President Nicolas Maduro. Protesters occupied multiple intersections in the high-density Uptown neighborhood of Minneapolis, distributing fliers and speaking with pedestrians about the situation in Venezuela.

The demonstration took place as the coup attempt took a turn closer to an invasion, involving a high-profile attempt to storm the Venezuelan border from Colombia. U.S. and U.K. media spent much of the day highlighting groups seeking Maduro’s overthrow, who claim to bring U.S.-sponsored ‘humanitarian aid’ into Venezuela from Colombia.

In a speech, Gerardo Cajamarca, an organizer with SEIU who is an asylee trade unionist from Colombia, rejected that narrative, saying, “Right now what is happening on the border of Colombia and Venezuela is coordinated by an interventionist group. It is very important that you, as United States citizens, tell your government not to go forward with this intervention. Latin Americans have the right to choose autonomy, to choose solidarity, to choose our own economic system.”

In recent weeks, the International Red Cross and the United Nations had refused to participate in the U.S. plan to storm the Venezuelan border with so-called ‘aid.’ Both organizations explicitly rejected the ‘humanitarian’ label for the plan touted by U.S. officials, instead calling it politicized and concealing military objectives.

At the Minneapolis event, Cajamarca also noted the hypocrisy of Colombian President Ivan Duque’s invocation of ‘humanitarian aid’ as cover for the coup attempt in Venezuela. “Yes, there is humanitarian need; yes, there is genocide – in Colombia!” he said. “They are murdering social leaders every day in Colombia. Corporations like Coca-Cola and Chiquita sponsor paramilitary groups. This is a model that is linked with narco-trafficking and with corporate power.”

“Using aid as a political weapon is nothing new,” stated April Knutson of Haiti Justice Committee of Minnesota. “In fact, there is an organization that is very much involved in the Venezuela situation right now called USAID. And they are an arm of the U.S. government, the U.S. military, and the CIA. They are often involved in regime change around the world, and in the Caribbean, and in Central America and South America. In fact, they toppled the democratically elected president of Haiti twice. President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was toppled by the CIA and USAID.”

Stephanie Taylor, vice president of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 3800, said, “As workers in the United States we are here today to stand with you all and oppose any U.S. intervention in Venezuela. First, because we know the brutal history of U.S. intervention and colonialism in Latin America.

On February 19, AFSCME Local 3800 passed a resolution to denounce any U.S. sanctions, support for a coup, or other interference in Venezuela, mirroring similar moves by labor groups around the country and the world, including the San Francisco Labor Council, U.S. Labor Against the War, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), the Canadian Labor Congress, and the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU).

The anti-war movement was out in force as well. “We must dispel State Department lies about Venezuela,” said CJ McCormick of the Anti-War Committee. “Maduro's election was fair until the United States saw a window for intervention. It's the U.S. that installs dictators, not the Bolivarian Revolution, and no country which has suffered U.S. regime change has ever become more democratic. It's the CIA's playbook to falsely claim a foreign leader is un-democratic in order to justify invasion.” McCormick added, “And this isn't even about democracy. It's about oil!”

The action was organized by the Minnesota Peace Action Coalition and endorsed by a long list of progressive groups.

The coalition plans to hold an emergency response protest if the U.S. sends in troops. In the meantime, the next protest has been called for by the MN Anti-War Committee for March 15 at 5:30 p.m. in front of Senator Amy Klobuchar’s office, 1200 S. Washington Avenue in Minneapolis, to draw attention to that presidential candidate’s support for the Trump administration’s coordination of the coup in Venezuela.[8]

References

  1. Addendum to Initiative document
  2. CCDS Background
  3. Conference program
  4. Proceedings of the Committees of Correspondence Conference: Perspectives for Democracy and Socialism in the '90s booklet, printed by CoC in NY, Sept. 1992 (Price: $4)
  5. CoC official ballot paper
  6. The need for a new Marxist organization by the Minnesota Committee of Correspondence
  7. http://homepages.spa.umn.edu/~marquit/nst20n3-4a.pdf
  8. [1]