Now that Black Lives Matter, Antifa, and other terrorist groups rioting, plundering, and savagely destroying American cities have adopted the raised clenched fist salute for their nihilistic movements, LRC readers must know the backstory of the Communist pedigree of this symbolic gesture.
Asked about the clenched fist’s esoteric origins, John Lautner, a former top official of the Communist Party USA, told American Opinion magazine (forerunner to The New American) in 1970:
The clenched-fist salute has been used among revolutionaries for many centuries as a symbol of defiance, comradeship, and solidarity. It was employed during the bloody French Revolution of 1789, and again during the industrial revolutions of 1848. At the formation of the First International in London in 1864 (known as the International Workingmen’s Association), Karl Marx and his followers gave the clenched-fist salute, as did his followers at Brussels in 1889 during the formation of the Second International, the so-called Yellow International. And, it had been used by the revolutionary Communards in the Paris Communes of 1871, a violent affair which led to the deaths of over 25,000 Parisians. Since the Third International, the Comintern begun at Moscow in 1919, it has been the official salute of all Communist Parties throughout the world.
Above is a photo of Winnie Mandela, Nelson Mandela, and long-time leader of the South African Communist Party Joe Slovo at an African National Congress rally, 1990. All three are shown engaged in the raised clenched fist salute which for a century has been the salute of Communists. In the background is the hammer and sickle symbol appearing on a red star. This has been the symbol of the international Communist movement since 1919, and was featured on the flags of the Soviet Union, the People’s Republic of China, and Communist parties throughout the world.
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