Person

Eric Mann

Eric Mann is a radical-left activist who has been involved with far-left organizations and black nationalist groups since the 1960s. Mann was a regional coordinator for the radical-left group Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and served two years in prison for his involvement in a violent riot at Harvard University in 1969. [1]

As of 2021, Mann runs the Labor Community Strategy Center (LCSC), a training center for radical-left organizers. Patrisse Cullors, a self-described “trained Marxist” who was one of the founders of the Black Lives Matter movement, has credited LCSC with providing her “first political home” and said that Mann took her “under his wing” during her time there. [2][3]

Early Life

Eric Mann was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1942. His mother and father were both socialist activists. Mann cites his parents’ views, as well as his Jewish identity, as the inspirations for his radical-left ideological leanings. [4]

Political Views

Eric Mann describes himself as a socialist and an internationalist. [5] Throughout his career, he has advocated for revolution against the United States government. [6] Mann has called the United States a “white settler state” and “the most dictatorial country in the world.” [7]

In 2017, Mann wrote an article for the far-left website CounterPunch on the 100th anniversary of the Bolshevik Communist revolution in Russia, which he called “the great breakthrough in anti-imperialist socialism.” The article praised Soviet state founder Vladimir Lenin and featured a quote from American communist Paul Robeson dismissing the atrocities committed by Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin. [8]

Mann is a vocal critic of the government of Israel, which he accuses of silencing detractors by equating criticism of Israeli nationalism with anti-Semitism. Mann opposes the expansion of Jewish settlements in disputed territories and the Israeli government’s military actions in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. He has also accused the Israeli government of promoting what he calls a “colonial master narrative” and engaging in “ethnocide” against Palestinian Arabs. [9]

Mann has criticized the Democratic Party establishment, particularly former President Barack Obama, for what he considers the lackluster promotion of environmentalist policies. In November 2015, he described President Obama’s environmental record as a series of “tragic tactics” and urged him to embrace far-left “climate justice” initiatives. The next month, he criticized Obama’s performance at the Paris Climate Talks as “a defeat for the planet.” [10]

Career

1960s-1970s: Radical-Left Activism

After graduating from Cornell University in 1964, Mann became field secretary for the Congress of Racial Equality, a prominent civil rights group. His involvement in the civil rights movement brought him into contact with black nationalist organizations. Mann also became involved in protests against the Vietnam War. He joined the far-left Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and eventually became the group’s New England regional coordinator. [11] He later joined the violent SDS faction Weathermen and became one of the group’s leaders. In November 1969, he and more than 20 others were charged with conspiracy to commit murder after members of the group opened fire on the Cambridge, Massachusetts police department headquarters. Mann turned himself in approximately two weeks after the incident. [12]

Mann was sentenced to two years in prison. While serving his sentence, he continued his radical-left activism as a member of the socialist Red Prison Movement. Mann was released early in July 1971. [13]

1980s-present: Radical Organizing

In 1989, Eric Mann founded the Labor Community Strategy Center (LCSC), a self-described “think tank/act tank” which started out as an incubator for pro-labor union activism but now promotes far-left policies on the environment, healthcare, law enforcement, and other issues. [14] As the director of LCSC, Mann has acted as a mentor to leading anti-police activist and Black Lives Matter movement co-founder Patrisse Cullors. [15] Cullors, who announced in May 2021 that she would be stepping down from her role as head of the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, has described herself as a “trained organizer” and “trained Marxist.” [16] [17]

Mann has referred to LCSC as the “Harvard of revolutionary graduate schools” and the “University of Caracas Revolutionary Graduate School,” a reference to the socialist regime in Venezuela. [18] In January 2016, the right-of-center watchdog group Accuracy in Media (AIM) reported that Mann was earning $125,000 in salary and over $100,000 in other compensation, citing LCSC’s 2012 tax return. [19]

References

  1.   Eric Mann and Lian Hurst Mann Papers. University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries. Accessed June 3, 2021. http://scua.library.umass.edu/umarmot/mann-eric/ ^
  2.        Scott Walker. “Radical Lives Matter.” Capital Research Center. November 18, 2020. Accessed June 3, 2021.

    Radical Lives Matter

    ^

  3.         Yaron Steinbuch. “Black Lives Matter co-founder describes herself as ‘trained Marxist.’” New York Post. June 25, 2020. Accessed June 3, 2021. https://nypost.com/2020/06/25/blm-co-founder-describes-herself-as-trained-marxist/ ^
  4.            Eric Mann. “Palestine Will Win.” CounterPunch. September 3, 2014. Accessed June 3, 2021.

    Palestine Will Win

    ^

  5. Eric Mann. “Palestine Will Win.” CounterPunch. September 3, 2014. Accessed June 3, 2021. https://www.counterpunch.org/2014/09/03/palestine-will-win/ ^
  6.        Eric Mann and Lian Hurst Mann Papers. University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries. Accessed June 3, 2021. http://scua.library.umass.edu/umarmot/mann-eric/ ^
  7.             Mike Gonzalez. “To Destroy America.” Heritage Foundation. September 3, 2020. Accessed June 3, 2021. https://www.heritage.org/civil-society/commentary/destroy-america ^
  8.     Eric Mann. “The 100th Anniversary of the October Revolution: the Great Breakthrough in Anti-Imperialist Socialism.” CounterPunch. October 30, 2017. Accessed June 3, 2021.

    The 100th Anniversary of the October Revolution: the Great Breakthrough in Anti-Imperialist Socialism  

    ^

  9.        Eric Mann. “Palestine Will Win.” CounterPunch. September 3, 2014. Accessed June 3, 2021. https://www.counterpunch.org/2014/09/03/palestine-will-win/ ^
  10. Eric Mann. CounterPunch. Accessed June 3, 2021. https://www.counterpunch.org/author/drudra/ ^
  11.       Eric Mann and Lian Hurst Mann Papers. University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries. Accessed June 3, 2021. http://scua.library.umass.edu/umarmot/mann-eric/ ^
  12.        Jeff Magalif. “Weathermen, Police Scuffle in Cambridge.” The Harvard Crimson. November 20, 1969. Accessed June 3, 2021. https://www.thecrimson.com/article/1969/11/20/weathermen-police-scuffle-in-cambridge-pweathermen/ ^
  13.    Eric Mann and Lian Hurst Mann Papers. University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries. Accessed June 3, 2021. http://scua.library.umass.edu/umarmot/mann-eric/ ^
  14. “The Strategy Center Is A Think Tank/Act Tank.” Labor Community Strategy Center. Accessed June 3, 2021.

    About

    ^

  15.        Scott Walker. “Radical Lives Matter.” Capital Research Center. November 18, 2020. Accessed June 3, 2021. https://capitalresearch.org/article/radical-lives-matter/ ^
  16.           Aaron Morrison. “BLM’s Patrisse Cullors to step down from movement foundation.” ABC News. May 27, 2021. Accessed June 3, 2021. https://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/blms-patrisse-cullors-step-movement-foundation-77951139 ^
  17.        Yaron Steinbuch. “Black Lives Matter co-founder describes herself as ‘trained Marxist.’” New York Post. June 25, 2020. Accessed June 3, 2021.https://nypost.com/2020/06/25/blm-co-founder-describes-herself-as-trained-marxist/ ^
  18. Mike Gonzalez. “To Destroy America.” Heritage Foundation. September 3, 2020. Accessed June 3, 2021. https://www.heritage.org/civil-society/commentary/destroy-america ^
  19.        James Simpson. “Reds Exploiting Blacks: The Roots of Black Lives Matter.” Accuracy in Media. January 12, 2016. Accessed June 3, 2021. https://www.aim.org/special-report/reds-exploiting-blacks-the-roots-of-black-lives-matter/ ^
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