Red Guards (United States)

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Red Guards
Founded2015 (2015)
Political positionFar-left

The Red Guards are American "Marxist–Leninist–Maoist collectives of community organizers and mass workers"[1] originating in Los Angeles with other branches operating in Austin, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, and Charlotte, as well as St. Louis and San Marcos, under the distinct titles of Red Path Saint Louis and San Marcos Revolutionary Front respectively.[2]

The group is named after the Red Guards that operated under Mao Zedong in the People's Republic of China during the Cultural Revolution that were composed of militant students who campaigned against the "reactionary and bourgeois" culture of China. As of 2020 most Red Guards chapters have either been abandoned or have announced their dissolution.

After the dissolution they have gone under the clandestine title of The Committee for the Reconstitution of the Communist Party of the United States of America (CR-CPUSA). A clandestine organization which claims to be working towards reconstituting the Communist Party of the United States of America under Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. Just like the former Red guards which criticized the Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL) and the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) for revisionism, the group sees the Communist party of the USA as a revisionist organization which must be reconstituted. There are several organizations which are connected to Committee to Reconstitute the Communist party of the USA, such as the United Neighborhood Defense movement, the now on hiatus Mike Ramos Brigade.


Starting in 2015, the Red Guards went on an anti-electoral campaign, pushing for a boycott of the 2016 election, with the slogan, "Don't vote, revolt!"[3]

On July 18, 2016, Red Guards Austin staged a show of solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. The Red Guards would later heavily critique the group's mode of operation as well as its leadership, declaring the movement to be forefronted by "pig apologists."[4]

After the election of President Donald Trump in November 2016, the Red Guards intensified their efforts, with Red Guards Austin stating "The war is not coming, it is here and now" in their "Everywhere is a Battlefield" polemic.[5][6]

On September 21, 2017, a joint statement from Kansas City Revolutionary Collective (later known as Red Guards Kansas City), Red Guards Los Angeles, Tampa Maoist Collective, Queen City Maoist Collective (later known as Red Guards Charlotte), Red Guards Austin, and Revolutionary Association of Houston was released that heavily criticized and publicly severed all ties with the Saint Louis Revolutionary Collective due to alleged "horrendous security culture" and "weaponized identity politics" within Saint Louis Revolutionary Collective's leadership.[7]

On March 8, 2018, the Kansas City Revolutionary Collective reconstituted itself as Red Guards Kansas City due to "a higher level of unity that has been achieved after almost two years of patient struggle with other Red Guards collectives, specifically Red Guards Austin" in regards primarily to questions of "the universality of protracted people’s war, party militarization, and concentric construction of the three instruments for revolution".[8]

On December 17, 2018, Red Guards Austin dissolved;[9] on May 18, 2019, Red Guards Los Angeles was dissolved.[10] Remaining Red Guards and Serve The People organizations remain unaffected and are still operating.[11][12]


The Red Guards released an extensive description of their political philosophy in a position paper published online in 2016, titled "Condemned to Win!"[13] In the article, it is explained that the theoretical structures of the collectives are based on the ideology of Marxism–Leninism–Maoism, with Maoism being principal. The Red Guards place a specific reverence for Abimael Guzmán, also known as "Chairman Gonzalo", who led the Shining Path revolutionary organization and waged a protracted people's war in Peru.[2]

They have criticized other leftist groups including the Democratic Socialists of America.[14]


Red Guards would do most events through front organizations so commentators have remarked that it's hard to track their membership. Today most Red Guards chapters have either been abandoned or have announced their dissolution. The Red Guards have been formally condemned by the Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL). Following an alleged assault by the Red Guards in Austin, the PSL released a statement equating the Red Guard's provocations to tactics used by the FBI as part of COINTELPRO, which targeted left-wing dissidents in the 1960s and 1970s for suppression through the use of agent provocateurs.[15]


  1. ^ Caterine, Joseph. "Red Guards and the Modern Face of Protest". Retrieved July 19, 2019.
  2. ^ a b Kistler, C. (April 29, 2018). "Red Guards Austin Statement for the May 1, 2018". Redspark. Retrieved July 29, 2019.
  3. ^ Austin, Red Guards (September 7, 2016). "DON'T VOTE, REVOLT!". Red Guards Austin. Retrieved January 31, 2020.
  4. ^ Austin, Red Guards (July 18, 2016). "What the fuck is wrong with the Black Lives Matter Movement in Austin?!". Red Guards Austin. Retrieved January 31, 2020.
  5. ^ Austin, Red Guards (August 27, 2017). "Everywhere a Battlefield". Red Guards Austin. Retrieved January 31, 2020.
  6. ^ "Texans Gear Up For Violent Antifa Riots". DARK TRIAD MAN®. October 28, 2017. Retrieved January 31, 2020.
  7. ^ "Opportunism vs Maoism: St. Louis Revolutionary Collective as a Lesson for the US Maoist Movement". Redspark. September 21, 2017. Retrieved October 31, 2019.
  8. ^ "Announcing Red Guards Kansas City". Red Guards Kansas City. March 8, 2018. Retrieved October 31, 2019.
  9. ^ "Important Notice". Red Guards Austin. December 17, 2018. Retrieved December 28, 2019.
  10. ^ "Important Notice". Red Guards Los Angeles. May 17, 2019. Retrieved December 28, 2019.
  11. ^ "Election Ticker: Last Chance for Controversy".
  12. ^ "AUSTIN: Professor's Death Ruled Suicide After Being Targeted by Revolutionary Students". November 19, 2018.
  13. ^ Austin, Red Guards (July 5, 2016). "Condemned to Win! Position paper from Red Guards Austin, 2016". Red Guards Austin. Retrieved July 29, 2019.
  14. ^ Austin, Red Guards (October 21, 2018). "DSA are capitalist pigs!". Red Guards Austin. Retrieved October 15, 2019.
  15. ^ "'Red Guards' Austin's COINTELPRO-style tactics and slanderous attack against the PSL". Retrieved October 15, 2019.

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