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Revolutionary Action Movement (RAM)

Malcolm X was a member of the Revolutionary Action Movement (RAM), a semi-clandestine organization and the paramilitary wing of the OAAU, and a precursor to the Black Panther Party. Its leader Max Stanford was a close associate of Malcolm X . They had discusses how to use RAMs force to protect civil rights leaders like the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. RAM also provided security for Malcolm X after he separated from the Nation of Islam.

Allied organizations included the African Peoples Party, Black Liberation Army, Black Panther Party, Black United Front, Black Workers Congress, Institute of Black Studies, League of Revolutionary Black Workers, Republic of New Africa, and Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee. Key leaders associated with RAM included Malcolm X, Robert F. Williams, Amiri Baraka, and Assata Shakur.

The Revolutionary Action Movement (RAM) was organized in 1963 by a group of black people who advocated militant self-defense as a means of dealing with white racism. It was envisioned as a "third force" somewhere between the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and the Nation of Islam. In 1964 a manifesto was issued setting forth the objectives and program ofthe organization. The objectives included: 1) instilling in black peoplea sense of pride, dignity, unity, and solidarity in struggle; 2) bringing about a new image of manhood and womanhood among black people; 3) freeing black people from colonial and imperialist bondage everywhere taking whatever steps nay be necessary to acheve this goal; 4) inculcating a sense of purpose in black people. Members of RAM believed that in order for black people to gain control over their lives, they must seize power through revolution. In this regard, RAM envisioned its program as the vanguard of the impending black revolution. Like RNA, RAM saw all the non-white people of the world as enslaved by the same force, namely white capitalism. Hence, revolutionary nationalism became internationalism. The government of the United States was seen as the enemy of freedom and self-determination throughout the world. Again, like RNA, RAM demanded that the United States be partitioned into two separate states, one for blacks and one for whites. The black nation to result from this partition consisted of the nine states of Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Texas, Virginia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. This land rightfully belonged to black people, they maintained, because black slave labor cultivated it for centuries. In addition to this territory, the leaders of RAM demanded an unspecified sum as a form of reparations for racial crimes against black peoplo historically. Finally, RAM believed that black people must arm themselves for the inevitable revolution. Their definition of revolution was "... one group's determination to take power away from another." Attorney General Ramsey Clark stated on 14 November 1967: "An emerging defiance of law to demonstrate dissent or to disrupt is often a cause more of inconvenience than of injury. It has rarely elevated human dignity or the worth of the individual. Perhaps more significantly it lends to an atmosphere of contempt for social stability. Extremist groups of the right and left -- the Ku Klux Klan, the Minutemen, the Revolutionary Action Movement, Deacons for Defense and Justice -- present another face of lawlessness. Capable of violence and intimidation, they are a concern to law enforcement and a threat to the public. "

At one time, RAM planned to assassinate moderates in the black community and to cause a riot by poisoning the water supply of Philadelphia. Most of the original group were arrested in 1970.

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Page last modified: 24-09-2017 18:52:42 ZULU