- Member of International A.N.S.W.E.R.’s steering committee
- West Coast Coordinator of the International Action Center
- Associated with the Communist organization Workers World Party
Once a prominent member of the Marxist-Leninist Workers World Party (WWP), Richard Becker is today a key figure in the Party for Socialism and Liberation, a national steering committee member with the ANSWER Coalition, and the Western Region co-director of Ramsey Clark's International Action Center (IAC). Viewing America as the principal wellspring of evil on earth, he once asserted that “no one in the world … has a worse human rights record than the United States.”
In early 1976 Becker represented WWP at a national Hard Times Conference execrating American “imperialism” and “oppression.” The event was sponsored jointly by the Weather Underground Organization and the Prairie Fire Organizing Committee, a pair of New Left groups.
A leading Bay Area activist in the protest rallies against the first Gulf War, Becker helped organize a January 19, 1991 demonstration in San Francisco that reportedly drew 200,000 participants. After the war ws over, Becker helped coordinate an International War Crimes Tribunal which Ramsey Clark established to investigate allegations of American “war crimes” and “crimes against humanity” committed before, during, and after the Gulf War.
In February 1994 Becker traveled to Iraq with an IAC “fact-finding delegation” headed by Ramsey Clark. Becker also represented the IAC at an international meeting held by opponents of the United Nations' sanctions against Iraq.
In 1996 Becker co-authored The Children Are Dying, a book documenting the allegedly “catastrophic effects” which the sanctions were having on the Iraqi people. In 1998 and 2000, respectively, he co-produced a pair of videos on a similar theme, titled Genocide by Sanctions (1998) and Blockade: The Silent War Against Iraq (2000). And in the late 1990s and early 2000s, Becker was a leader of the Iraq Sanctions Challenge, a delegation that delivered medicines to Iraq in defiance not only of the UN sanctions regime, but also of several U.S. laws and presidential executive orders.
When WWP founder Sam Marcy died in 1998, Becker eulogized him as a man who possessed “the greatest grasp of revolutionary Marxism,” and who was “the very embodiment of Leninism.”
Becker co-authored the 1998 IAC book NATO in the Balkans and spoke at many teach-ins and forums against the 1999 U.S./NATO war in Yugoslavia.
In 2000 Becker testified at an International Tribunal on U.S./NATO War Crimes Against the People of Yugoslavia, which, like the aforementioned tribunal vis-a-vis the Gulf War, found American and NATO political and military leaders “guilty of war crimes.”
Becker has long viewed Israel as a nation guilty of egregious human-rights violations, and has objected to America's close alliance with the Jewish state. In February 1998, for instance, he denounced the U.S. government for “provid[ing] “billions of dollars a year in critical military and economic aid to Israel”; “blocking innumerable United Nations resolutions condemning Israeli seizures of Arab land”; “allow[ing] Israel to ignore the [UN] resolutions that have been passed”; and “display[ing] the most virulent hostility” toward the Palestinians. Accusing the U.S. and Israel of “working together to undermine the emergence of a Palestinian state,” Becker blamed both countries for “[t]he strangulation of the Palestinian economy,” the “huge rise in [Palestinian] unemployment,” and “a corresponding decline in [Palestinian] living standards.”
In October-November 2000, Becker led an IAC “delegation to Palestine” to deliver “much-needed medicine to the Palestinian medical system, which is in a state of emergency because of the thousands wounded by the Israeli military machine.”
In June 2002, Becker accused the Israeli government of seeking “to destroy the Palestinian movement in order to take possession of all of historic Palestine, once and for all.” Moreover, he charged that “the U.S. rulers want to crush the Palestinian resistance as a part of their program, disguised as the 'war on terrorism,' of smashing all resistance to the U.S. empire on a global scale.” “Dismantling the Palestinian resistance would pave the way for establishing uncontested U.S. hegemony in the region,” he explained, and “would also pave the way to a new all-out war of recolonization against Iraq.”
During the Israel-Hamas war of July 2006—a conflict initiated by Gaza-based Hamas terrorists firing hundreds of rockets into Israeli towns—Becker accused Israel of waging an unjustified “assault on the Palestinian people”; trying to “dismantl[e] the recently elected [Hamas-led] Palestinian National Authority government”; and unjustifiably holding in Israeli jails “more than 9,000 Palestinian political prisoners, all abducted from their homeland.” Further, he accused Israel of having inflicted “years of economic strangulation” on the Palestinian people.
In October 2009, Becker was the keynote speaker at an ANSWER-sponsored antiwar “teach-in” at Los Angeles City College, where he said that a U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan—which he advocated—would strike at the heart of America's “empire” in South Asia. “Every empire falls, and this empire will fall as well,” Becker declared, to rousing applause.
At the same event, Becker defended the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Based on information provided by a single source—a 1998 interview with former President Jimmy Carter's NSA chief, Zbigniew Brzezinski—Becker argued that the Soviet incursion was a strategic counter-thrust to U.S. imperial influence in Kabul. Specifically, he suggested that the CIA was planning to establish an American colonial outpost in Afghanistan for the purpose of consolidating U.S. control over Caspian crude oil.
In 2011 Becker supported the anti-capitalist Occupy Wall Street demonstrations that swept across the United States, boasting that his ANSWER coalition had “played a key role in linking the anti-war struggle to the Occupy movement.”
For additional information on Richard Becker, click here.