Turbulent Decade: A History of the Cultural Revolution

By Yan Jiaqi; Gao Gao et al. | Go to book overview

Chapter 6

"Bombarding the
Command Post"

Political Criteria of the Cultural Revolution

After the Sixteen Points were made public, many people began directing criticism at the work groups. Those who had received the brunt of retaliation by work groups were especially excited, and the situation for the work groups in retreat was increasingly awkward and difficult. In compliance with the spirit of the "Notice of the Beijing Party Committee concerning the Withdrawal of Work Groups from Universities and Middle Schools," the "complete withdrawal of all work-group personnel within two or three days" was formally announced in Beijing on August 12, 1966.

In quick order, after simple accounting and inspection, the work groups moved out of all units, the leadership of which was now temporarily in the hands of the Cultural Revolution task forces and planning committees formed by the work groups. The Beijing Party Committee also followed orders in sending liaison personnel to the schools to maintain contact and to control the movement in the schools. Under the direction of these liaison officials, all the universities and institutes immediately took on the "black gangs." Many schools organized "labor reform teams," forcing many who were branded as counterrevolutionary during the work-groups period into such teams. Thus the anti-work groups activities also stopped.

An important procedure of the Cultural Revolution was to incite the anti‐ work groups forces to oppose Liu Shaoqi. If the masses were all concentrating on struggling with the "black gangs," then they could not very well locate the "melon" (Liu Shaoqi) by groping along the "vine" (work group). Thus, the Central Small Group quietly worked to revive the anti—work groups forces.

On August 19, 1966, a big-character poster entitled "Wang Guangmei Is the Number-One Pickpocket of Qinghua Campus" appeared on the campus of Qinghua University. This was a momentous act, for it contravened a standing

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