Set Up: Who is "Peace Activist" Martin Gugino?
By Cliff Kincaid
Martin Gugino is a “peace activist” and member of the Catholic Worker movement, which was founded by Dorothy Day. He was the subject of one of President Trump’s Tweets. Trump said he might have been an agent provocateur who was challenging the police when he appeared to be pushed down after a slight nudge from an officer. Gugino had refused to move. Two Buffalo police officers following orders given by Deputy Police Commissioner Joe Gramaglia to clear the square were subsequently charged with “assaulting” him.
Here’s the full quote from John Evans, president of the Buffalo Police Benevolent Association: “Our position is these officers were simply following orders from Deputy Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia to clear the square. It doesn’t specify clear the square of men, 50 and under or 15 to 40. They were simply doing their job. I don’t know how much contact was made. He did slip in my estimation. He fell backwards.”
After the two officers were suspended, the special squad on the Buffalo Police Department — the Emergency Response Team — resigned from their posts. Police union leadership wrote: “I know it has been said that the admin won’t back you. After witnessing first-hand how these two officers were treated, I can tell you, they tried to fuck over these guys like I have never seen in my 54 years.”
“Don’t put them out there if you don’t want them to do the job,” President Evans wrote in a text to the publication Investigative Post. “This is an example of officers doing exactly what they’re supposed to and then getting charged. It’s so wrong.”
Stefan I. Mychajliw, comptroller of Erie County, posted a video, saying “I stand strong behind these Buffalo Police officers. I refuse to let the shining city on a hill that brought my immigrant family here come under attack and destroyed from within. Cops are under attack from agitating, extremist radicals that crave chaos. Lawlessness must end.”
Thousands turned out to support the officers.
Carol Byrne is the author of The Catholic Worker Movement (1933-1980): A Critical Analysis and knows a lot about this group. It was founded by Dorothy Day, who “had an abortion as a young woman and at one point flirted with joining the Communist Party,” as noted by The New York Times. The Times story was headlined, “In Hero of the Catholic Left, a Conservative Cardinal Sees a Saint.” Day, a major figure in the “Catholic Worker” movement, died in 1980.
In a letter obtained by this journalist, then-Virginia State Senator Richard H. “Dick” Black was so disgusted by the push for sainthood for Dorothy Day that he told the Pope on January 7, 2013, that he was “appalled” that “a woman of such loathsome character” would be considered for sainthood.
Black, a retired Marine Corps colonel, noted that “Vatican archives are filled with reports of Christians martyred under the regimes that Dorothy Day supported. I am revolted by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ support for the canonization of a woman whose views supported the violent extermination of Christians throughout the world. I ask that these matters be carefully weighed so that the Holy See will not be inadvertently misled when considering the canonization of Dorothy Day.”
As a Marine pilot, Black fought the communists. He flew 269 combat missions in Vietnam and was wounded during fierce ground fighting with the 1st Marine Regiment.
“I am particularly concerned about her support for Ho Chi Minh,” Black said in his letter. He said that he had recently hosted a group of 12 Vietnamese men, each of whom served as senior officials in the Free Republic of Vietnam during the time when the North Vietnamese Communists overwhelmed Saigon in 1975. “Six of them were imprisoned in concentration camps no less severe than those of the Nazis in Germany,” he explained.
Regarding Dorothy Day’s “flirtation” with the Communist Party, as the Times put it, Carol Byrne told this journalist, “…I have provided proof, drawn from archival evidence and other authentic sources, that even after her conversion to Catholicism, Day became a member of several socialist organizations and was actively involved in political groups (including trade unions) whose founders and leaders were predominantly Communist Party members. She also supported the causes of individual Communists who were in the pay of the Soviet Union.”
Byrne went on, “This must be considered against the background of successive Popes who condemned communism as ‘intrinsically evil.’ They forbade Catholics from supporting Communists, and in July 1949 Pope Pius XII issued a decree of excommunication against anyone who collaborated with Communists or joined their associations. There is evidence to show that Day simply shrugged off the papal ban: she did not see communism as a real problem, or experience any moral quandary for a Catholic working in coalition with such groups professedly dedicated to ‘Justice and Peace.’”
State Senator Black said he was extremely concerned that, for almost 50 years, Day was the editor of a pro-communist newspaper, the Catholic Worker. He noted that the 58l-page FBI file on Day “contains a recommendation that Dorothy Day be considered for custodial detention in the event of a national emergency.”
His letter to the Pope went on to say that he was particularly concerned about Day’s “favorable writings regarding Lenin, Castro, Mao, and Ho Chi Minh. As you well know, each of the above dictators ordered the execution of Catholic priests among the millions of other Christians murdered by these regimes.”
Carol Byrne confirmed that Day “supported the policies of hostile foreign powers operating from Moscow, Havana, Peking and Hanoi against her own country, the USA. She also wrote favorably about such socialist dictators as Lenin, Castro, Mao and Ho Chi Minh, even though they had all violently persecuted the Church in their respective countries. Nor could she in principle bring herself to condemn the social and economic ideals of Marxism.”
Gugino was also identified as a member of the Western New York (WNY) Peace Center. Indeed, he is the Treasurer of the Latin American Solidarity Committee, a taskforce of the WNY Peace Center. It was established to support Communist Nicaragua.