Tea Party Logo: Lifted From Communist Designs

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The threatening clenched fist logo of the “9-12 Taxpayer March on DC” (organizer of the Washington DC tea party) is clearly based on the logo of the Progressive Labor Party — a group whose stated purpose is to “smash capitalism.”

Unity and resistance are what the fist represented in 1917, when it was first employed by the Industrial Workers of the World, a union organization founded by socialists. And in the 1940s, when it stood for various nations’ communist party organizations.

That’s also what it meant when it was revived in the 1960s, appearing as a symbol for the SDS, as well as anti-war and feminist movements. It was the basis for the black-power salute given by John Carlos and Tommie Smith at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics. And today, it’s the symbol for the Progressive Labor Party (pictured), a political outfit whose website says it “fights to smash capitalism.”

UPDATE at 9/14/09 9:38:41 am:

Apparently, people really don’t want to believe this.

From the 912 FAQ:

1. What is the symbolism of your logo?

We have to make sure this is a protest against what’s going on in DC, and we have to convey that image to the country and the world. I fear that if we start to lose that edge, the politicians won’t take us as seriously, and will write us off. We’ve been studying and applying the tactics of the left for a long time, and although we despise their bad ideas, they have us beat when it comes to symbolism, activism and dominating the public debate. We can learn from them and co-opt their symbols, some of their messages and even their tactics.

We have to remember that this is a March on Washington, which should conjure up images of the street protests in other countries. If we want the politicians to pay attention, we believe it is imperative that we keep our edge, tailor our message narrowly and maintain the populist imagery.

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