The Corner

Communist Groups Helped Organize Petraeus Protest

Protests against General David Petraeus Monday by CUNY students were organized by an ad hoc committee that includes several Communist groups.

A leaflet for the protests, which refers to Petraeus as a “war criminal” and “mass murderer,” says that the events were organized by the Ad Hoc Committee Against the Militarization of CUNY and were endorsed by the Internationalist Group, Workers Power-US, and IGNITE. 

These groups are explicitly Communist in nature. Workers Power states that it is a “revolutionary, communist organization . . . in the tradition of Marx, Engels, Lenin, and Trotsky.” The Internationalist Group uses the hammer and sickle alongside its articles. IGNITE is a self-described “communist youth league.”

Attempts to reach these groups were unsuccessful save for a phone call to the Internationalist Group. Jan Norden, the organization’s leader, told National Review Online that the Internationalist Group had helped organize the protests through the ad hoc committee but that they were mostly student driven. 

Erick Moreno, a senior at Queens College and a member of Students Without Borders, a group that endorsed the protest, confirmed that the leaflet came from the committee, which he said serves as a “united front of student, faculty, and community organizations that are taking on the task of promoting this campaign to oust General Petraeus from CUNY as well as ROTC and military contractors from the CUNY system.” 

According to Moreno, there is no clearly defined leadership for the committee, which is not recognized by CUNY. “Even if you asked who played the most important role, I wouldn’t even be able—I would probably have to give you the names and numbers of ten different people,” he said.

The heckling of Petraeus was not planned by the committee, Moreno says, and, as far as he knows, was mostly carried out by “students that were infuriated with his presence on CUNY campus.” 

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