Re: NATLFED a/k/a National Labor Federation
Date: August 04, 2009 08:46AM
At NOC (National Office Central) it was six and a half hours of sleep a night. The U.S. military standard was a minimum of seven hours of sleep a night, it was explained, and we as committed party members could do with less as our commitment to the revolution. Shutdown (bedtime) was at 3:30 a.m. and reveille (wake up) at 10:00 a.m., to align the National Office schedule with the West Coast (for strategic considerations). The schedule only varied if an FC lecture went exceptionally late. The lectures occurred twice a week.
Original apartments rented were 1107 2A, back to 1971. You are correct that additional apartments were rented in 1980 or 1981, 1107 1A (the law firm) and the sublet 1107 1C (the field commander offices), 1115 1A (the doctor's office). They did not start using 1111 1A (Barbara Elcombe's apartment) until either the late 80's or early 90's, I don't remember when. Originally as the building superintendents, Foxfire Enterprises secured access to the basements. The contract used to include 1119 but failure to maintain the building resulted in losing the contract. When Foxfire purchased the properties, modifications to the basements occurred. Foxfire lost the buildings (went into receivorship) but then the Organization formed Carroll Street Properties and reacquired the buildings.
The distinction between 1107 1A and 1C was for legal purposes. 1C was a legitimate sublease, two rooms part of the 1A apartment with one room having a door access to the common hall. 1C was Gino's office. In the event of a warrant execution, the authorities would not be legally allowed to enter the 1C portion unless it was included. But Gino wasn't found there during the raid; he tried to make his escape down the dumbwaiter, in the kitchen of the 1A portion of the floor. The ladder broke, he fell, that is how he sustained his injuries in 1984.
During its heyday of capacity, 80 cadres lived in residence in the metropolitan arena, with 70 or so at any given time working directly out of the Carroll Street facilities. Every area of workspace was utilized including the "bedrooms", and even the basements served as additional space (but not preferred because of concerns of intruders). Most of those cadres were recruited through field entities.
After the raid, the organization suffered depleted ranks unilaterally. More cadres were working at NOC that had been recruited through Women's Press Collective, thus no field experience. Cadres with less than a year under their belt issued blind orders based on extensive briefings, to field cadres with 10-15 years experience. At least the entity I was liaison to appreciated the fact that I had four years of field experience. I could relate our successes with the jail strike, our failures with the Grucci fireworks factory explosion, I was there. Eventually that didn't matter, the field cadres burnt out by inexperienced leaders talking straight out of the EO with no realization of how to actually do it.
The ranks at NOC eventually diminished to around 30 persons, still a lot of people, but many entities reduced to just one person or two. The purges continued to reduce those numbers, yet the organization then took over 1111 2A (Maria Perales). Many cadres sent out to the field had to face the reality that despite years of issuing orders, they could not actually do the work and were severely criticized. I do not know today how many of the apartments the organization has taken over, but the loss of rental income requires a greater financial obligation on the field entities to support the effort.
You'd be surprised at some of the lengths cadres resorted to trying to escape the environment. Not everyone stuck around to be with the one they loved, they left anyway, and the partner suffered the repercussions. Two persons that were arrested and imprisoned during the trials did not return after their release, two did, one (as far as I know) remains imprisoned in Massachusetts.
This is just some of the realities of being a NOC cadre.