STOP the Arrests and Attacks on the Revolution Club at CCNY!
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! Their arrest came just two days after Noche Diaz, of the Get Into the Revolution National Organizing Tour, was violently assaulted and arrested by University of Chicago Police. And it came in the context of a larger fight over whether ACTUAL revolution will be on the map in a world of intensifying horrors and crises
The Revolution Club—and others―will be back on campus Thursday, November 3, and you must be there—to hear what the university—backed by its campus police—is trying to suppress, and to have their backs.
Date/Time: Thursday, November 3, 12 noon
Location: North Academic Center (NAC) Building, Convent Ave. off 138th Street
Subway: #1 to 137th Street; A, C, B to 135th Street
Singing “We are the revcoms, the mighty, mighty revcoms!” four Revolution Club members disrupted lunch as usual on October 28 in the cafeteria of the City College of New York. They challenged students: “America was NEVER Great! We Need to Overthrow, Not Vote for, this System” and to connect with the Get Into the Revolution National Organizing Campaign and Tour, which is traveling the entire country for a full year to recruit and organize thousands into the revolution, getting ready to overthrow the system of capitalism-imperialism at the soonest possible time.
And most important, they challenged students to get serious about the fact that there IS A WAY to go against this, to organize for an actual revolution, and the leadership in Bob Avakian—leadership based on a scientific approach to know and to change the world. They were organizing with the message “HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution,” that a radically different and far better world is possible—and they, the students, have a role to play in this.
Within minutes they were detained and arrested. For nearly two hours they were badgered to falsely incriminate themselves (the Club members stuck to the principle of “don’t talk” to police). They were taken to the Manhattan Detention Center (the Tombs) and denied water for hours. One Club member was denied medicine. Prison authorities threatened to send one woman to the psychiatric ward at Bellevue Hospital for exercising her supposed right to remain silent. They were charged with criminal trespass and held in the Tombs for over 24 hours, overnight in police custody.
Criminal trespass!? For what? In point of fact, the Revolution Club members were attempting to leave campus when they were detained. But beyond that, this charge is outrageous. CCNY is a public university. It brands itself as a place that “nurture(s) the reasoned expression of dissent, including the right of peaceful protest.”
When students and faculty protested putting former CIA director and war criminal David Petraeus on the faculty, the college responded: “We defend free speech and we reject the disruption of the free exchange of ideas.” But when the Revolution Club went into the cafeteria at CCNY challenging students that the world does not have to be this way, that there is a way out, all that bullshit about free speech, free exchange of ideas, and expression of dissent got exposed for what it really is: the “right” of the administration and the system they serve to indoctrinate students with lies and promote war crimes, while sealing students off from the most scientific and unflinching exposure of this system and the real solution.
The Revolution Club was challenging students to raise their heads. To get off the deadly path of finding a place within this system. To get with the revolution, because that’s what humanity needs. They sharply posed crimes of this system, including the ongoing assault on Standing Rock and the epidemic of police murder. And there is a way out through an actual revolution.
This is a moment in history—when a fascist and a recidivist war criminal are running for president, when whole regions of the world are engulfed in reactionary wars and terror, and so much more—when students need to hear this. And, it is a time when students are being confronted by events here and around the world that pose the question of what they need to do with their lives. At the time the Club members were grabbed by campus security, students were applauding their message in the cafeteria.
The arrests at CCNY for engaging in peaceful speech on campus are completely illegitimate. It is a chilling threat to all to “stay in bounds” in their thinking, their scholarship, and their lives. “Think, discuss and act on anything you want,” the message is being sent, “as long as it doesn’t challenge the fundamental assumptions of the system of capitalism-imperialism which is ruling over you and billions worldwide through brutal and murderous force.”
Do NOT let this go down! CCNY is sending a message designed to chill, intimidate, and silence.
Do students have a right to revolutionary discourse and organization, or only to what is officially sanctioned by the authorities, backed up by the campus police, authorized by the brutal and murderous NYPD?
For all those who are outraged by what the police did to the CCNY 4, who feel America was NEVER great, who feel revolutionary ideas and organization need to be part of campus discourse and life, who cherish critical thinking and dissent, and who feel the NYPD has no authority to police this, JOIN US!
Be part of sending a different message: that we will not let them silence revolutionary voices.
We call on all those outraged to:
- Join us. Make your voices heard and your stand known! Meet outside the North Academic Center (NAC) building, noon on Thursday, November 3. Officially sponsor and invite the Revolution Club onto campus. Contact us at Revolution Club, NYC: @nycrevclub or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Contact Dr. Mary Erina Driscoll, Interim President, phone 212-650-6638, email email@example.com to demand that the Revolution Club and the Get Into the Revolution National Organizing Tour be allowed onto the campus. Leave voicemails!
- Join CCNY students and others in signing the statement: “I/we demand that all charges get dropped and that revolutionary ideas be allowed on campus, Support the NYC Revolution Club.”
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