- Maoist activist
- National secretary of Students for a Democratic Society
- Originator of Not In Our Name and Refuse and Resist
- Member of the Revolutionary Communist Party
- “The problem in this country [is] the oppressive system of capitalism that exploits people all over the world, that destroys our planet, that oppresses minority people, that sends people to the death chambers in droves.”
Charles Clark Kissinger is a prominent member of the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP). He was instrumental in the formation of the groups Refuse & Resist, Not in Our Name, and World Can't Wait.
Born in 1940, Kissinger began his public activism in the early 1960s when he served as the national secretary of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), the leading radical organization of its day. He also worked closely with Fred Hampton and the Black Panther Party.
Kissinger, who supported Mao Zedong’s Communist regime in China, continues to enjoy strong support from the Maoist Internationalist Movement (MIM), which, in its own words, "upholds the revolutionary communist ideology of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism" and views the Chinese Cultural Revolution as "the farthest advance of communism in human history." MIM seeks to achieve its ends "by building public opinion to seize power through armed struggle" and full-fledged "revolution [in] North America.”
A devoted backer of Iran's Islamic revolution, Kissinger in 1979 traveled to Iran when Ayatollah Khomeni seized power.
In October 1983, Kissinger and RCP tried to sabotage American efforts to deploy Pershing and cruise missiles in Germany. Kissinger personally led a “World Without Imperialism Contingent” (WWIC) on an eight-week tour of Germany to lay the framework for thwarting the missile deployments. Accompanied by members of Peru's Marxist guerrilla army, the Shining Path, Kissinger and his RCP comrades penetrated the Mutlangen U.S. military base in West Germany, where Pershing II intermediate-range missiles were stored.
The following month, Kissinger’s fellow RCP / WWIC members were involved, along with Red Cells and other German anarchist-terrorists, in an assault against Vice President George H.W. Bush's caravan during a visit to Krefeld, Germany.
In January 1984, the RCP newspaper Revolutionary Worker, for which Kissinger has written frequently, called for the assassination of President Ronald Reagan.
In 1987 Kissinger created "Refuse & Resist!" (R&R) -- on whose National Council he continues to serve. Kissinger and his R&R allies hold a grim view of American life and culture. "Domestically," they complain, "we see subway vigilantes made media heroes and a record of sympathy for white supremacy become the passport to high judicial office.... Against women there is escalating violence, with compulsory child bearing and domestic servitude elevated as ideals.... Xenophobic attacks are made on anything foreign, combined with calls for the compulsory use of English."
"The problem in this country," says Kissinger, can be traced to one root cause: "the oppressive system of capitalism that exploits people all over the world, that destroys our planet, that oppresses minority people, that sends people to the death chambers in droves. That is a problem that has to be done away with." "Revolution is the solution," Kissinger expands. "And the Revolutionary Worker has put out a call to people to join with them in formulating a new program for revolution in this country, a blueprint to go forward."
In 1991 Kissinger spoke out against the Gulf War at numerous teach-ins on college campuses across the United States.
In 1992 and 1993 Kissinger was in Los Angeles defending prisoners who had been arrested for their roles in what the RCP agitator dubbed the "Los Angeles Rebellion" -- i.e., the infamous riots (in the wake of the Rodney King verdict) that left 58 people dead, more than 2,300 injured, a billion dollars in property damaged or destroyed, and at least 5,300 buildings burned. Kissinger's RCP had been instrumental in triggering the violence.
Since the 1990s, one of Kissinger’s chief ongoing priorities has been his campaign to "stop the legal lynching of Mumia Abu-Jamal," incarcerated for the 1981 murder of a Philadelphia police officer. Describing Abu-Jamal as "an African-American journalist on death row," Kissinger attributes the killer's conviction to America's "political program of criminalizing black youth, using prisons and death chambers to 'solve' the problems of poverty and social breakdown, and the use of police powers to suppress radical or revolutionary opposition."
In 1999 Kissinger was a supporter of an initiative titled "Call to Justice," which proposed a nationwide "Mumia Awareness Week" aimed at overturning Abu-Jamal’s purportedly wrongful conviction. Fellow backers of this campaign included actor Ossie Davis, Robert Meeropol of the Rosenberg Fund for Children, and Sam Jordan of Amnesty International's Program to Abolish the Death Penalty.
In July 1999 Kissinger and 95 fellow activists were arrested for their involvement in a public protest, held at the site of the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, against Abu-Jamal’s incarceration. Kissinger was subsequently found guilty of "failure to obey a lawful order" and was given one year of supervised probation, which restricted him from traveling outside the federal court district wherein he lived. But Kissinger disobeyed the order; in August 2000, he spoke publicly at a pro-Mumia event at Thomas Paine Plaza in downtown Philadelphia. He was introduced to the crowd as “D. Clark Kissinger” (supposedly the “twin brother” of C. Clark Kissinger), and he used the occasion to denounce Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush and the death penalty. For violating the court order, Kissinger was sentenced to three months in jail.
After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Kissinger created the anti-war group Not In Our Name (NION), which condemned "the injustices done by our government" in its pursuit of "endless war"; its greed-driven "transfusions of blood for oil"; its determination to "erode [our] freedoms"; and its eagerness to "invade countries, bomb civilians, kill more children, [and annihilate] families on foreign soil.”
In 2003 Kissinger joined the National Lawyers Guild, Lynne Stewart, Ramsey Clark, Leslie Cagan, and Michael Ratner in calling for Jose Maria Sison to be removed from the European Union’s terrorist watch list. Sison, an activist with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (a guerrilla faction) and the Communist Party of the Philippines, would later be arrested for his involvement in three high-profile assassinations.
In 2005 Kissinger established World Can’t Wait, a project that sought to organize “people living in the United States to take responsibility to stop the whole disastrous course led by the [George W.] Bush administration.”
In an April 2005 article on his website, Dissident.info, Kissinger charged that President Bush and like-minded "reactionaries" were seeking to establish a "theocracy" and "smash the independence of the courts in the name of God." He characterized Bush as a "Christian fascist" whose modus operandi closely resembled that of Adolph Hitler.
Also in 2005, Kissinger formed the "International Commission of Inquiry on Crimes Against Humanity Committed by the Bush Administration." This Commission indicted President Bush and key members of his administration for such transgressions as “wars of aggression [in Iraq and Afghanistan], detention and torture [against prisoners of war], destruction of the global environment [specifically, ‘systematic policies contributing to the catastrophic effects of global warming’], sabotage of global health programs, and the abandonment of New Orleans [in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005].” The Commission found the Bush administration guilty on all counts.