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Radical Socialist Movement Ends After Three Semesters

ANN ARBOR, MI—Spokespersons for the Global Socialist League, an Ann Arbor-based radical socialist organization, announced Tuesday that the group is disbanding due to a lack of funds, ending its three-semester struggle to smash the bulwarks of slavery and oppression everywhere.

Global Socialist League members (L-R) Chad Saunders, Greg Thornberg and Kate Barlow attempt to raise the political consciousness of passersby.

Founded by University of Michigan junior Kate Barlow in September 1996 as a campus-based revolutionary strike force dedicated to establishing a worldwide dictatorship of the proletariat, the GSL made the decision to disband after learning it had dropped below the five-member minimum required by the university for student-organization funding.

"We were really starting to get the word out about AmeriKKKa's exploitation of migrant labor, the silencing of Mumia Abu-Jamal, and the Clinton regime's reign of fascist terror in Central America," said Barlow, GSL chairperson and a creative-writing major. "But then Craig dropped out because his dad threatened to stop paying his tuition if he didn't get his grades up, and Doug decided to spend junior year abroad in England."

"After three glorious semesters of struggle, we have chosen to pursue even more subversive socialist endeavors in the radical Ann Arbor underground while working at a variety of part-time jobs during the day," GSL Minister of Information Chad Saunders said.

Saunders cited his recent acquisition of a personal computer as a major factor in his own decreased involvement with the radical group.

"I just bought this game called Warcraft II: Tides Of Darkness. It's amazing," Saunders said. "You can be orcs or humans, and you build up these castles and armies and battle to the death. Last night, I almost constructed an Altar Of Storms, but then Jeff attacked with his dragons and totally destroyed me."

Ann Arbor-area capitalists were excited by the news of the Global Socialist League's breakup. "Chad never picked up any extra shifts because of all the meetings he had for that club he was in," said Bob Jorgensen, manager of the downtown Ann Arbor Starbuck's Coffee where Saunders works. "Hopefully, he'll be able to take some extra weekend hours now, since he doesn't have to sell those newspapers anymore."

Much like the Zapatista rebels currently fighting the Mexican government for social justice in the state of Chiapas, the Global Socialist League faced persecution from University of Michigan authorities.

"We tried to staple up notices in the Union for a rally protesting the CIA's secret war against migrant laborers in California," GSL Minister of Postering Greg Thornberg said. "But this guy from the Union info desk came over and told us we had to get permission first. He will be the first against the wall when the revolution comes."

The group suffered another setback when financial support for its newsletter, ¡Revolt!, fell through.

"This guy I know named Pat was going to lend us $40 to print 200 copies, but then he wound up spending the money on Widespread Panic tickets," Thornberg said. "So after that, we decided to print just 50 copies, but the guy at Kinko's said if we printed that few, the price per copy would be twice as much. So we were like, 'Forget it, man, we can't swing it.'"

Assessments of the Global Socialist League's legacy are mixed. "Kate Barlow combined an adequate knowledge of The Communist Manifesto with an ability to shout anti-U.S. slogans on street corners without embarrassment, making her an effective campus socialist leader," Michigan political-science professor R. Jonathan Cooper said. "However, the Global Socialist League's inability to deliver meeting times and other event listings to the campus newspaper before deadline seriously hampered its efforts to overthrow the extant capitalist order of the United States."

While the Global Socialist League is no more, Barlow said the group's dissolution is only a temporary setback on the inevitable march of the human race toward a state of communistic utopia.

"I feel just like Lenin in 1917, when he lived in exile in Switzerland," Barlow said. "Not long after, he returned to Russia and toppled the Provisional Government, establishing Bolshevik control over the country in just six months."

Barlow said she has worked out a similar plan to overthrow the racist, imperialist U.S. government with a series of massive labor strikes and agitation campaigns among urban poor. She was unable to provide specifics, however, as she was late for her shift at Einstein's Bagels.

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