"We are out to change the world, to emancipate humanity."
Revolution Club Members Arrested at CCNY Speak Out
October 31, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us
On Friday, October 28, four members of the Revolution Club, NYC were arrested at CCNY—the CCNY 4! They were challenging students to get into the Get Into the Revolution National Organizing Tour, and to get serious about getting into the way to radically change the world. Following are statements from the CCNY4.
Being arrested in the supposed realm of ideas was ridiculous from the moment we were told to leave, to being barred from doing so and being detained as a prisoner of the police for hours. The response to using the 5th Amendment right (the right to remain silent) was being told you’d get “the shit beaten out of you,” constant harassment in the form of questioning every little thing over and over again, and being sent to a psych ward for two days because if you don’t answer “you obviously have mental issues.” At every turn nobody (pigs and people alike) knew why we were there or the process that had taken us this far. I had a lot of guidance from the “Don’t Talk” article and the experience of the RNC 16. At every chance we utilized the time to further understanding, talk with the masses and chant/sing messages of communist revolution. I can’t wait to go back to CCNY! The mighty, mighty revcoms aren’t deterred, we are invigorated.
The arrest was completely outrageous, but on the “inside,” we brought the revolution to people who’d been victimized by the system, or wound up locked up for other reasons. Through the whole ordeal, the bullying and mistreatment, we kept in mind the fourth Point of Attention we live by, and never lost sight of the potential for even the people most beaten down by this system to transform, with the understanding that the choices they are forced to make to survive under this system are a reflection of the system itself—ugly, manipulative, and with no future for them or the masses of humanity.
We spoke to them of a whole other way humanity could be, and shared with them some of the “HOW WE CAN WIN” statement and the significance of this being out in the world now, as things get sharper and sharper in the objective situation, and the ruling class descends into further conflict within itself.
We also remembered our other comrades who had been arrested very recently and someone shared a fact about V.I. Lenin who had been arrested on a consistent basis shortly before he led the Bolsheviks to make revolution in Russia.
To the people who ache for a better world and have perhaps begun to see this system for what it is, but are shaken by the stories of what the enforcers of this system could bring down on them, it is important to remember for whom and for what we fight—we fight for the seven billion on the planet and the Earth itself, we fight for the future of humanity and the emancipation of all people everywhere. We fight knowing that we are not alone, and that we must not be alone—we fight to win people over now, and to take this all the way when the time comes. We fight with the scientific leadership of Bob Avakian, and with a strategy to truly change the world, together with millions of people, and a scientific approach to reality and overcoming contradictions as they present themselves.
When they hit, we hit back, and leverage their own illegitimate brutality to bring others forward to go up against them. And now is the time to build those forces to go up against them.
This is a mighty task, but we are revcoms, as the chant goes, we are mighty-mighty.
We are out to change the world, to emancipate humanity.
And we have nothing to lose but our chains.
# 3 (translated from Spanish by revcom.us)
Those of us who fight every day to be emancipators of humanity—in order to deeply understand the foundations of this system and the real solution, a scientific and real way out— were preparing to enter the campus of a state university. The mood among the comrades was very animated, with deep discussions about the message we were going to deliver. It was emphasized that we be very straightforward and sharp in the message, which must be an invitation to join in with the revolutionaries, to approach the problem as scientists and to view reality in its totality.
We were on campus, and we got started! You could feel a great revolutionary spirit. Everybody in the area received a copy of the statement “How We Can Win”. While all of us who are building a new world sang with strength and passion: “ah ah we are the revcoms oh oh overthrow the system, we need revolution,” a woman comrade took the lead in the agitation. She held the attention of the many people there as she exposed the outrages that this system inflicts on people and on nature and the great need that BA become known to all those who desire a new liberating future, a world where science, creativity and the struggle over ideas is the engine of learning and building.
We live under bourgeois democracy, which is nothing more than the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie. Therefore, and as is to be expected, wherever the revolutionaries take over some space, the forces of repression arrive to silence that which poses a threat to their system. Men came, dressed in blood, death and hypocrisy, disrupting an important space that every educational center in the world should have, a place where the flourishing of ideas, debate and the search for truth cannot be limited. However, as a clear sign of this dictatorship, none of this exists in colleges and universities, not to mention the problems of society and the posing of real solutions. This is not a forum of discussion. What is dominant is a pragmatism in which what is applied is not what is true, but what gives results “that work,” and under capitalism imperialism the law of value is dominant, so science is developed in service of a ruling class, whose interests are far different from those of the masses of people.
We were arrested and were taken on ride during which we suffered disrespect and above all repression. Finally, we entered a building whose upper levels house the “respectable authorities” who repress the masses, while being bored by all the privileges they have as a result of the exploitation of millions of people. In the lower levels of this highly respected building are the masses, behind bars, surrounded by misery, pain, fear, bitterness and hatred. There we were, the revolutionaries accused of illegal trespass, surrounded by people whose “sin” was to be born on the wrong side of society. People who, like BA says “...whose life is over, whose fate has been sealed, who have been condemned to an early death or a life of misery and brutality, whom the system has destined for oppression and oblivion even before they are born....”
From this we can clearly see what this system offers people: First, universities and centers of education become hermetically sealed and numbed spaces where there is no room for discussion and the confrontation of ideas to seek truths and really be scientists and apply different branches of knowledge to the interests of humanity.
Second, the police do not represent the interests of the people. On the contrary, they are a force of brutal repression against the masses and the revolution. As BA explains it: “The role of the police is not to serve and protect the people. It is to serve and protect the system that rules over the people. To enforce the relations of exploitation and oppression, the conditions of poverty, misery and degradation into which the system has cast people and is determined to keep people in. The law and order the police are about, with all of their brutality and murder, is the law and the order that enforces all this oppression and madness”.
For all these and many other ways in which this system is manifested, there is a real need to raise our voices and say: No more! No longer will we tolerate the atrocities of this system. We will not accept the silencing of the truth. We have the science and the leadership to smash all of this, to overthrow this system and to bring into being a new world that arises from the strength and knowledge of people. Bob Avakian must become known to all those who want and need a new world!
This was my second time being nabbed by the police at this public college campus. We—the Revolution Club, NYC―were talking to students, bringing into the discussion on campus the reality of the world, a world that expands outside of mid-terms and college walls. A world where millions are driven out of their homes because of war and power disputes among nations. A world where millions die of hunger even when the resources are abundant and where tons of food and resources are thrown in the garbage everyday. A world in which the very existence of our planet is in danger because of the destruction and pollution of its ecosystems. A world where the biggest power has as contending candidates for presidency a war criminal and a fascist racist. A world where immigrants and Black people are being killed and mass incarcerated on a daily basis as one of its “legal policies.” We were inviting everyone on campus to dig into the root of these problems humanity is facing. We were challenging students to grab a scientific method to analyze those problems and dig into the logical conclusion to really solve them. We were making the argument of how the system of capitalism-imperialism limits what can be transformed, how its basic rules and interests (a worldwide system of exploitation and oppression, engined by competition and profit and literally powered by the burning of fossil fuels) limits how any social and environmental issue can be addressed. We argued that the only way to even start talking about deeply solving those problems is by overthrowing such a system, overthrowing it to bring about one that is in the interest of humanity and the environment. Just through an actual revolution, we could do that. Yes, we are revolutionaries and we were talking about revolution. Yes, we want revolution to be contending on the college campuses and in society as a whole. Think about this, whether or not you agree with us, banning this conversation on campus goes against any pursuit of critical thinking. It even goes against the very mission and vision of CCNY, in which MISSION states that “...CCNY advances knowledge and critical thinking, and fosters research, creativity, and innovation...” and its VISION states that “...CCNY will attract students who have a tenacious desire to learn, lead, and contribute to the greater good of society...” Now if you think about that, everything we were talking about definitely contributes to that Mission and Vision. Critical thinking involves the evaluation of something in order to form a judgment. What we were bringing into campus doesn’t just have in mind the greatest good of society, or just promote curious and vibrant students to have a great conversation, we were bringing HUMAN EMANCIPATION to the table.
The problem here is not that people go inside the campus without permission. People do that all the time. The problem here is what was being talked about inside. College campuses are supposed to embrace the universality of knowledge, where every idea can be explored and debated, where critical thinking is encouraged and nurtured. But the reality is another one, revolutionary ideas are being targeted, attacked and banned from college campuses. The fact that in this system the only way they (the rulers) can enforce their authority through violence, evidence the dictatorial nature of it. A dictatorship and not a democracy. And college campuses are part of that larger society.
Now, people can say there are “lawful ways to present your ideas.” First of all, a regular trespassing offense almost never gets pursued or gets resolved with a ticket. Instead of getting that, we were put in a 24 hour torturous process, where we were deprived of water and basic medicine, handcuffed and treated as the worst criminals. What does it tell you about the nature of this arrest? Second, let’s think about rights. We have the “right of free speech,” but if you actually look into this, it is a right except when you try to exercise it. They break their own rules! They invalidate their own statements! And the third point but actually the most important: buying and selling human beings was legal under slavery, it was lawful to do so. Jim Crow segregation was legal. Slave labor is legal in prisons today. Black people can be murdered with impunity by police. All of those are clear examples of “lawful ways of acting” at certain points of history. Targeting and banning revolutionary ideas, and revolutionaries, from college campuses might seem legal to some (specially those looking through the eyes of this system), but it doesn’t make it right. It actually makes it very wrong and something to be opposed to. Everyone with the slightest appreciation of critical thinking, and freedom of speech and/or an urgency for a radical change in the world, should come together and demand that revolutionary ideas be allowed on campus. And those who are agonizing for a whole different world need to connect and defend the Revolution Club, look into Bob Avakian’s pathbreaking work on human emancipation, and become an Emancipator of Humanity. Period.
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