Revolution #354, September 22, 2014 (revcom.us)

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

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Permalink: http://revcom.us/revolution-and-religion/host-committee.html

Revolution #354 September 22, 2014


Host Committee to Promote Cornel West-Bob Avakian
Dialogue on Revolution and Religion

Updated November 6, 2014

A prestigious group of people from a variety of fields have signed a statement to be part of a Host Committee to promote Revolution and Religion: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion; A Dialogue Between Cornel West and Bob Avakian. Scholars, theologians, scientists, musicians, actors, filmmakers, parents of children murdered by the police who have become fighters for justice, as well as revolutionaries—all people of accomplishment and stature have joined together in a statement that says:

Members of the Host Committee have diverse political and philosophical viewpoints, yet agree that Cornel West and Bob Avakian dialoguing on this topic at this moment will matter and that people throughout society need to know about it.

The Host Committee signatory statement goes on to say: “We recognize that the Cornel West/Bob Avakian dialogue and the speakers could come under different types of attack and slander from the media, social media, as well as from agencies of the state. These would be attempts to keep public discourse confined within terms acceptable to and reinforcing the status quo. Host Committee signatories can play an important public role in countering slander, social and political pressure, as well as more overt attacks through utilizing our public voice.”

In various and creative ways, the Host Committee is a tremendous positive factor contributing to raising the profile and maximizing the impact of this unique and urgent dialogue—to getting the message out that nobody with an interest in human emancipation can afford to miss this dialogue.

 

HOST COMMITTEE,
CURRENT SIGNATORIES

Kwame Anthony Appiah—Professor of Philosophy and Law, New York University author of The Honor Code: How Moral Revolutions Happen

Ed Asner—Actor, Emmy Award winner

William Ayers—Distinguished Professor of Education and Senior University Scholar at the University of Illinois, Chicago (retired)

S. Scott Bartchy—Professor Emeritus History of Religion, Dept. of History, UCLA; Director Emeritus, Center for the Study of Religion at UCLA

Richard Brown—Former Black Panther and San Francisco 8 Defendant

Rev. Dr. Meri Ka Ra (Richard Byrd)—Krst Unity Center of Afrakan Spiritual Science, Los Angeles

Dr. James H. Cone—Union Theological Seminary, Professor of Systematic Theology; author of The Cross and the Lynching Tree

Peter Coyote—Actor, writer

Annie Day—The Bob Avakian Institute

Carl Dix—Revolutionary Communist Party, USA and Stop Mass Incarceration Network

Emory Douglas—Artist and former Minister of Culture, Black Panther Party

Carol Downer—Author, lawyer, co-founder Federation of Feminist Women’s Health Centers

Farah Griffin—Professor, English and African American Studies, Columbia University

Fredrick Harris—Professor of Political Science, Columbia University 

Carl Hart—Professor of Psychology, Columbia University, author of High Price

Robert Hass—Professor of Poetry and Poetics, University of California, Berkeley, Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winner, former U.S. poet laureate

Obery M. Hendricks, Jr.—Ph.D, Visiting Scholar, Dept. of Religion & Institute for Research in African American Studies, Columbia University

Nicholas Heyward—Father of Nicholas Heyward, Jr.—murdered by New York Police Dept. in 1994; October 22 Coalition to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation

Ted Jennings—Professor, Chicago Theological Seminary

Philip Kitcher—John Dewey Chair of Philosophy, Columbia University

Raymond Lotta—Writer Revolution/revcom.us, political economist

Rev. Cecil L. "Chip" Murray—Professor, Center for Religion and Civic Culture, University of Southern California; Co-Founder, the Cecil Murray Center for Community Engagement, USC

PZ Myers—Associate Professor of Biology, University of Minnesota, Morris; founder and author Pharyngula science blog

Arturo O'Farrill—Pianist, composer, educator, founder Afro Latin Jazz Alliance, Grammy award winner

Rev. Stephen H. Phelps—Member, Presbytery of NYC

Anthony B. Pinn—Agnes Cullen Arnold Professor of Humanities, Rice University; Director of Research, The Institute for Humanist Studies (Washington, DC)

Katherine Ragsdale—President, Episcopal Divinity School, Cambridge, MA

Saskia Sassen—Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology, co-chair Committee on Global Thought, Columbia University

Matthew Shipp—Musician and composer

Dr. Donald Shriver—President Emeritus of Faculty, Union Theological Seminary, NYC

Mark Lewis Taylor—Educator, author, activist; Professor of Theology and Culture, Religion and Society, Princeton Theological Seminary

Juanita Young—Mother of Malcolm Ferguson—murdered by New York Police Dept. in 2000; October 22 Coalition to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation

Robert Young—Filmmaker

Andy Zee—Spokesperson, Revolution Books, NYC

David Zeiger—Filmmaker

 

Institutional affiliations for identification purposes only.

STATEMENTS FROM MEMBERS OF THE HOST COMMITTEE

We need it desperately

I have been a fan of Cornel West for many years. I have been deeply impressed by his intelligence and his purity and to find him in dialogue with Bob Avakian, a fearless leader of the left is a consummation to be wished for.  Work prevents me from being at the dialogue, but know this, I envy all of you who are. If hope and clarity can only come from this dialogue to lighten the dark times we live in, then I would wish this same dialogue will be played throughout the land. We need it desperately.

Ed AsnerActor, Emmy Award winner

~~~~~

I strongly support the Dialogue

When you consider that religion influences the majority of humanity in one way or another, the Dialogue between Cornel West and Bob Avakian can be extremely important—particularly if it encourages religious leaders and their followers to develop a strategy that plays a major role in the struggle for emancipation. With this in mind, I strongly support the Dialogue.

Richard Brown—Former Black Panther; San Francisco 8 Defendant

~~~~~

Two people with differences about how to resolve our quest for a moral way of being... having a principled discussion

Both Cornel West and Bob Avakian say we are moral people with responsibility to look at what is really happening in this world and to decide what is right and wrong and to act accordingly. This is very different than the view of people whose religious faith is shaken that without a belief in God, no one can prove anything, and there are no moral standards to stop one from from raping and murdering and stealing. They then often go on autopilot, acting on whatever forces impinge on them or whatever feels good at the time. Ironically, since they believe there are no objective standards, they are unable to identify the larger forces that are oppressing them, and they do not join with others to fight back against injustice. They end up either blaming themselves for their difficulties, or they blame the nearest individuals or groups in their environment for their suffering and spend their days attacking them either physically or on cyberspace, fighting fruitless “twitter wars.” This “horizontal hostility” serves the purpose of those forces in society that are oppressing them. This Dialogue between West and Avakian is an important discussion because it is very different than that. Two people with differences about how to resolve our quest for a moral way of being and how to create a more just, humane world having a principled discussion. People can learn from this.

Carol DownerAuthor, lawyer,
co-founder Federation of Feminist
Women’s Health Centers

~~~~~

Anyone with deep concern about the future of this world needs to be there.

I admire and respect both Cornel West and Bob Avakian. Both are fearless fighters for the poor and oppressed throughout the world. One, Bob Avakian, is a revolutionary fighter; the other, Cornel West, is a Christian. Anyone with deep concern about the future of this world needs to be there, and needs to hear this very important dialogue between two champion crusaders. 

Nicholas Heyward—Father of Nicholas Heyward, Jr.—murdered by New York Police Dept. in 1994; October 22 Coalition to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation

~~~~~

A great occasion to explore how revolutionary Marxism and radical Christianity may find common ground in articulating the hope for transformation
(10/3/14)

If humanity is to survive and thrive we all know that there must be radical and fundamental change. The rule of avarice and violence is destroying the lives of myriads and indeed the very planetary basis for life. Two forces for this fundamental transformation are revolutionary Marxism and radical Christianity. The dialogue between Bob Avakian and Cornel West is a great occasion to explore how these movements may find common ground in articulating the hope for transformation and organizing to bring it about.

Ted JenningsProfessor,
Chicago Theological Seminary

~~~~~

I do look forward to the results of this Dialogue on questions of such vital importance to humanity.

The Dialogue between Cornel West and Bob Avakian of the Revolutionary Communist Party will hold anyone of care in fascination and examination. My initial probing is to ask BA, a man of sensitivity, courage, and caring, what he explicitly means by "revolution." I agree that we must "rise up and fight back" but feel strongly in the road of Ghandi, Nelson Mandela, and Martin Luther King. I also share both Cornel West's and Bob Avakian's thoughts on the need to have a face off on questions such as prison or police brutality, such as women's struggle for equality, but the question remains: while Avakian has masterfully given description, I part ways with him on the prescription.  I do look forward to the results of this Dialogue on questions of such vital importance to humanity.

Rev. Cecil L. "Chip" Murray—Professor,
Center for Religion and Civic Culture,
University of Southern California;
Co-Founder of the Cecil Murray Center
for Community Engagement, USC

Let the conversation begin!

If knowledge is power, we need sustained and robust exchange of ideas in order to harness and productively utilize this power for change. This discussion between West and Avakian points in the right direction, and holds great promise as a model of how we can work beyond our disagreements to find common ground framed and defined by the sufferings of those most in need of life transformation. Without this type of dialogue and the knowledge and understanding it promises to provide, we stand little chance of moving beyond our differences and toward healthy life options for all. Let the conversation begin!

Anthony B. Pinn—Agnes Cullen Arnold Professor of Humanities; Director of Research, The Institute for Humanist Studies, Rice University

~~~~~

A more radical way of looking at where we're at...that draws me

(11/2/14)

What I like really about this dialogue is that it is not the typical dialogue. It is not the typical people. And it is not this very domesticated, careful mode of talking about where we're at and what we need. I think what both Cornel West and Bob Avakian are about is opening up new ground. We're in a disastrous situation. Our state, our liberal state, is in severe decay—not just ours, by the way, all around. So I think we really need to focus in a way on the extreme conditions that are often left out. We are always focusing on the middle, the medium, the mean. We really need to focus on the edges, the horrors that are happening. So I think a more radical way of looking at where we're at, where there are no easy remedies—that draws me. And each of them has a very strong category that organizes their thinking and their passions, and that is also very good. That's good theater even: religion and revolution. Can you ask for more?

Saskia Sassen—Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology, co-chair Committee on Global Thought, Columbia University

~~~~~

This is a Needed, Needed Dialogue 

(11/6/2014)

This is a needed, needed dialogue—the religious impulse has been responsible for a lot of altruistic acts through the ages that have fostered compassion and hence an attempt to live a life of real social justice and meantime organized religion has also been used as a tool to brainwash and control the minds of the masses and quite frankly has been one of the most evil forces in the modern world fostering violence and intolerance to people who don't think like them.  Should be interesting to see what these two great thinkers come up with as to religion's role in restructuring society.

Matthew Shipp—Musician and composer

~~~~~

Can religion in our 21st century be a servant of justice rather than an enemy? It remains a vital question, one that religious people in America dare not neglect.

(11/5/2014

My predecessor president of Union Theological Seminary, in the 1960s, was John C. Bennett, also a professor of Christian Social Ethics. That era of the 'sixties was rife with political talk among Americans hostile to Soviet communism. Bennett believed that, even if one defines communists as enemies of democracy and religion, dialogue between  communists and American Christians was necessary for human pursuit of peace and justice globally. Bennett was a leading critic of America's involvement in the Vietnam war. He never flagged in his conviction that we Christians must listen to the criticisms of religion by Marxists. He was sure that Christianity and Marxism had a proper common concern for how capitalism often harms  the world's poor. He was sure, with the Hebrew prophets, that religion without justice is bad religion.

Can religion in our 21st century be a servant of justice rather than an enemy? The dialogue of Cornel West and Bob Avakian is sure to focus on this question.  It remains a  vital question, one that religious people in America dare not neglect.

Donald W. Shriver, Jr.—President Emeritus, Union Theological Seminary

~~~~~

If we really want fundamental change...look at fundamental questions—“Revolution and Religion” is as fundamental as it gets.

What kind of world do we live in? A world where Michael Brown’s murderer still walks free while we’re told to have a “conversation” about race, where oil companies rush to grab up the new oil fields exposed by the melting polar ice cap while “world leaders” make meaningless, hypocritical pledges to stop global warming, where entire families incinerated in an instant by unmanned drones is not considered barbaric, where a so-called “progressive” president has out war-mongered the war-mongers. In this insane world, why isn’t revolution on everyone’s lips? Why aren’t millions of people striving for a whole new future instead of debating the pros and cons of Hilary Clinton for president? C’mon, people. If we really want fundamental change, we have to look at fundamental questions–and “Revolution and Religion: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion” is as fundamental as it gets. I welcome it, and you should too.  

David ZeigerFilmmaker

 


 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/revolution-and-religion/what-people-are-saying.html

Revolution #354 September 22, 2014

What People Are Saying About This Dialogue

Responding to the announcement of Revolution and Religion: A Dialogue
Between Cornel West and Bob Avakian

Updated November 12, 2014

An Historic Dialogue: Cornel West and Bob Avakian Enlighten and Challenge at a Critical Juncture

November 16, 2014

Read more


A discussion on the role of religion in the struggle for material and spiritual emancipation of the human has never been so necessary

(10/11/14)

The gap of wealth and power between the have and the have-not nations of the earth and the social haves and have-nots within each of the nations, is deepening and widening daily, with the irony that the haves, between and within nations, depend on the resources of the have-nots for their power and privilege. The result is material and spiritual misery of millions. This condition is human made not God made. It can only be righted by human action. A discussion on the role of religion in the struggle for material and spiritual emancipation of the human has never been so necessary.

Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o, Author
of
Wizard of the Crow


Anyone with deep concern about the future of this world needs to be there.

(10/19/14)

I admire and respect both Cornel West and Bob Avakian. Both are fearless fighters for the poor and oppressed throughout the world. One, Bob Avakian, is a revolutionary fighter; the other, Cornel West, is a Christian. Anyone with deep concern about the future of this world needs to be there, and needs to hear this very important dialogue between two champion crusaders. 

Nicholas Heyward—Father of Nicholas Heyward, Jr.—murdered by New York Police Dept. in 1994; October 22 Coalition to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation; Host Committee for the Cornel West/Bob Avakian Dialogue


"Holy Shit!"
Three Thoughts on the Dialogue

When I first heard news of the Dialogue between Bob Avakian (BA) and Cornel West (CW), I had three major thoughts.

First, I thought, "Holy shit, it's a really huge deal that BA is speaking in public! This hasn't happened, in this way, in a very long time, and there is both tremendous positive potential and very serious stakes to this... This is truly an extraordinary and exciting opportunity!"....

Read more

From a revolutionary


From Ann Wright, Former United States Army Colonel, Foreign Diplomat, Peace Advocate

This is indeed historic. I'm going to try to be there... I've marked my calendar.


I strongly support the Dialogue

When you consider that religion influences the majority of humanity in one way or another, the Dialogue between Cornel West and Bob Avakian can be extremely important—particularly if it encourages religious leaders and their followers to develop a strategy that plays a major role in the struggle for emancipation. With this in mind, I strongly support the Dialogue.

Richard Brown—Former Black Panther; San Francisco 8 Defendant; Host Committee for the Cornel West/Bob Avakian Dialogue


From Kassahun Checole, Publisher

Revolutionary politics and theology work well together when the subject of social change arises. Our world is in deep trouble. Cornel West and Bob Avakian will advance the conversation. They can and will. It is much needed.


Nothing Changes Until We Address the Systemic Change

I think this is important because it will open up some dialogue and get people to start thinking. Because you know, a lot of times, people's thoughts need to be seasoned....

Read more

Community organizer


It Is Important for the Future of Blacks and Latinos

I feel like it is important for the future of Blacks and Latinos. It's important for us to fight and stand up against injustice. We need to get together and not fight each other but get together and fight the system. You see now Ferguson got the attention of Obama because they are fighting the system. I am hoping to get unity amongst us, to stand up against the government. We asked years ago and kept asking, we marched with the civil rights and Black Panthers. What are we supposed to do, keep asking?

Joshua, Young Latino, Washington Heights, New York City


From a Social Worker Who Donated $100 for the Dialogue

It is amazing that two people with different fundamental belief systems are willing to sit together for the sake of humanity. It is a beautiful thing of tolerance and respect, we need more of that.


Just What We Need

This is just what we need. I wish I could be there but I can't so I'll make a donation so that someone else from the store can go.

A devoted Christian volunteering at a Revolution Books store


Clear and Concise Analysis of the Amerikkkan Condition

(9/27/14)

...These two gentlemen seem to have a clear and concise analysis of the amerikkkan condition. But more importantly they are the only two whom, aside from pointing out the obvious capitalist atrocities, seem to offer viable solutions to some of the problems experienced by americans in Amerikkka....

Read more

A Photographer from NYC


If we really want fundamental change...look at fundamental questions—“Revolution and Religion” is as fundamental as it gets.

What kind of world do we live in? A world where Michael Brown’s murderer still walks free while we’re told to have a “conversation” about race, where oil companies rush to grab up the new oil fields exposed by the melting polar ice cap while “world leaders” make meaningless, hypocritical pledges to stop global warming, where entire families incinerated in an instant by unmanned drones is not considered barbaric, where a so-called “progressive” president has out war-mongered the war-mongers. In this insane world, why isn’t revolution on everyone’s lips? Why aren’t millions of people striving for a whole new future instead of debating the pros and cons of Hilary Clinton for president? C’mon, people. If we really want fundamental change, we have to look at fundamental questions–and “Revolution and Religion: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion” is as fundamental as it gets. I welcome it, and you should too.  

David Zeiger, Filmmaker, Host Committee Cornel West/Bob Avakian Dialogue


A Great Opportunity

I think there's a confluence of minds here; even though they come from quite different directions. They are both very concerned about the human condition; not just about this country, or that country; but the human condition, on a global scale....

Read more

A retired professor in Los Angeles


People Around the World Will Want to Watch This

This is incredible—that this is being posed to people right now. Is it going to be live webcast? People around the world will want to watch this.

A young lawyer

Recent Posts

"I Recognize the Power and Perils of Belief"

(10/24/14)

I have struggled for years with issues of faith. As an agnostic I recognize the power and perils of belief. Bob Avakian and Cornel West are to be lauded for their efforts to bring struggle and faith together to defeat oppression and foster freedom and dignity.

“Revolution and Religion” a dialogue between West and Avakian at the historic Riverside Church, New York City, on November 15, 2014, demands our support.

Jed Stone
Criminal Defense Attorney


From Alice Walker:
Let The People Decide

(10/9/14)

...We are now in such dire straits as a planet that letting the people of the world decide our course is the only sensible option, “leaders” of various stripes having failed us completely; and who actually seem to enjoy making us feel afraid...

Read more


Religion and Revolution: The Promise of a Fresh Look

SpearIt, Associate Professor, Texas Southern University—Thurgood Marshall School of Law. This article was originally published at Huffington Post on 10/20/14. Read it here.

(10/23/14)

For students of religion and students of revolution, the upcoming dialogue between Cornel West and Bob Avakian should be a valuable lesson. Taking place at Riverside Church in New York City, this meeting of the minds has tremendous potential to advance understanding on the relationship between religion and revolution, which conventional wisdom tends to hold as mutually exclusive....

Read more


"This dialogue will open up a lot of eyes, a lot of minds...to what is going on and how we can make a difference."

(9/28/14)

Revolution and Religion—wow, this is long overdue. This is long overdue. I feel that I didn't know much about Mr. Avakian. I know about Cornel West. But the fight for emancipation, the role of religion and the dialogue between these two revolutionaries of our time, the great revolutionaries of our time—it is long overdue. Religion plays a great part in our revolution and what has changed amongst the churches, what has changed is humanitarianism has went out the window. Between the revolution and religion, the fight for emancipation is that we have to fight for what is right....

Read more

Terry Hubbard, mother of 23-year-old Joshua Richardson who is incarcerated at Rikers Island prison


Cornel West Opened My Eyes ... Bob Avakian Has Gotten My Attention

Read more

71-year-old Black man from South Central Los Angeles


A great occasion to explore how revolutionary Marxism and radical Christianity may find common ground in articulating the hope for transformation

(10/3/14)

If humanity is to survive and thrive we all know that there must be radical and fundamental change. The rule of avarice and violence is destroying the lives of myriads and indeed the very planetary basis for life. Two forces for this fundamental transformation are revolutionary Marxism and radical Christianity. The dialogue between Bob Avakian and Cornel West is a great occasion to explore how these movements may find common ground in articulating the hope for transformation and organizing to bring it about.

Ted Jennings—Professor, Chicago Theological Seminary, Host Committee Cornel West/Bob Avakian Dialogue


I'm Going to Fundraise to Go

I want to be there. And yes, I'm going to fundraise to go, and there's no way I wouldn't go. Because I'm always open, and I always love hearing Bob Avakian talk; and since he's talking about religion, and especially that he's getting into it with someone who is religious, that's like something that sparks my curiosity to know what they're going to talk about.

Read more

Young woman in the Los Angeles Revolution Club


One of the Most Challenging and Inviting Ideological Journeys Anyone Has Been On!

This Dialogue will no doubt be one of the most challenging and inviting ideological journeys that anyone has been on! I think there will be a lot of laughter and tears, and it will put revolution back on the map in this country in a massive way.

Jesse—a member of the band Outernational


A Revolutionary Meeting of Two Extraordinary Minds!!!

A revolutionary meeting of two extraordinary minds!!! Plus you get to see Bob Avakian live and in person. It's worth it just for that. I'm interested to see what's going to come out of this conversation.

Black businessman


From Margarita Rosario (mother of Anthony Rosario and aunt of Hilton Vega, murdered by the New York Police Department in 1995)

Because I believe in God. A dialogue between two people who have inspired me. Bob Avakian is a revolutionist and I'm always talking about a riot. Cornel is a man of faith, so I just want to see and listen.


Two people with differences about how to resolve our quest for a moral way of being... having a principled discussion

Both Cornel West and Bob Avakian say we are moral people with responsibility to look at what is really happening in this world and to decide what is right and wrong and to act accordingly. This is very different than the view of people whose religious faith is shaken that without a belief in God, no one can prove anything, and there are no moral standards to stop one from raping and murdering and stealing. They then often go on autopilot, acting on whatever forces impinge on them or whatever feels good at the time. Ironically, since they believe there are no objective standards, they are unable to identify the larger forces that are oppressing them, and they do not join with others to fight back against injustice. They end up either blaming themselves for their difficulties, or they blame the nearest individuals or groups in their environment for their suffering and spend their days attacking them either physically or on cyberspace, fighting fruitless "Twitter wars." This "horizontal hostility" serves the purpose of those forces in society that are oppressing them. This Dialogue between West and Avakian is an important discussion because it is very different than that. Two people with differences about how to resolve our quest for a moral way of being and how to create a more just, humane world having a principled discussion. People can learn from this.

Carol Downer—Author, Lawyer, Co-founder Federation of Feminist Women's Health Centers, Host Committee for Cornel West/Bob Avakian Dialogue


I Don't Think a Lot of People in America Know What Oppression Is Except the Oppressed

I am planning to go. Now is the time for me to take an active role in making the system work for future generations. Cornel West understands what is going on and is fearless. He's not afraid to tell the truth to the mainstream media. He understands what oppression is in America. I don't think a lot of people in America know what oppression is except the oppressed.

Angelina—mother victimized
by the system

 

Video Statements:

 

UC Berkeley student in NYC for the Dialogue(11/12/14)


Artist raising funds to be at the Dialogue (11/10/14)


I hope to see many students from the United States and around the world there (11/10/14)


Video: Can't Wait to Go!


Video: You Need to Donate Cuz We Have to Get There!


An Abortion Rights Freedom Rider on "Revolution and Religion" Dialogue

10/4/2014


Young Filmmaker on 'Revolution and Religion' Dialogue

10/4/2014


"So...Did You Hear What's Going On In NYC?"

(10/4/14)


Andrew Hoffman on 'Revolution and Religion' Dialogue

(10/4/2014)


'The lessons that we're gonna learn will change how people think about everything.'

(10/9/14)


'Whatever your religious belief, you should be at this event.'

(10/5/14)


"These guys are on something real"

(10/5/14)


I do look forward to the results of this Dialogue on questions of such vital importance to humanity.

(10/11/14)

The Dialogue between Cornel West and Bob Avakian of the Revolutionary Communist Party will hold anyone of care in fascination and examination. My initial probing is to ask BA, a man of sensitivity, courage, and caring, what he explicitly means by "revolution." I agree that we must "rise up and fight back" but feel strongly in the road of Ghandi, Nelson Mandela, and Martin Luther King. I also share both Cornel West's and Bob Avakian's thoughts on the need to have a face off on questions such as prison or police brutality, such as women's struggle for equality, but the question remains: while Avakian has masterfully given description, I part ways with him on the prescription.  I do look forward to the results of this Dialogue on questions of such vital importance to humanity."

Rev. Cecil L. "Chip" Murray, Professor, Center for Religion and Civic Culture, University of Southern California; Co-Founder of the Cecil Murray Center for Community Engagement, USC; Host Committee for the Cornel West/Bob Avakian Dialogue


To the Youth Who This System Has Cast Off: This Dialogue Is for You

(10/10/14)

From an ex-prisoner:

To the youth who this system has cast off and counts for nothing, but who can actually count for a great deal:

The Dialogue on November 15, 2014 between Bob Avakian and Cornel West is for you. This is a conversation between two people who have a deep love for people just like you. With everything that keeps you fucked up and doing fucked up shit to each other, neither one of these two people are willing to turn their back on you.

Read more


BA Must Be Heard Globally

BA must be heard globally and we must get out the message that the system must be restructured. The only person I know that can do that is BA and the revolution. It goes to show this Dialogue is needed because we look at the world and the world is doing politics and religion and BA is looking at it scientifically.

It is important so many religions are out there and so many of them are confusing the people. It's like they are pacifying the people with politics and it's the same old talk with different people doing the same thing but doing nothing. It's going all around in a circle to confuse and oppress the people.

Grandmother whose grandson
is in a Texas jail


The Topic of Revolution and Religion Was On My Mind ... I Can't Wait

I was energized when I found out about the Dialogue between Cornel West and Bob Avakian. The topic of revolution and religion was something that was on my mind even before I found out about it. I had recently met some people around what was going on in Gaza. They were coming at it from a religious point of view. We organized a small demonstration and it was me (the atheist) with about 10 other people, most were religious. They mentioned that is was great that we could come together around Gaza. I agreed but in my mind I was thinking about, how can we work together and what do we need to do to unite and make revolution. I can't wait for November 15.

A teacher from New Jersey


We Need To Reach the Children

I want to see how many young people show up. I'm trying to spark an interest in the children around the Bronx that don't think that this affects them. It's kind of hard to reach them. I'm always trying through music and poetry. We need to reach them.

Kevin from the Bronx, New York City

 

 


 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/354/three-thoughts-on-the-dialogue-en.html

Revolution #354 September 22, 2014

"Holy Shit!"

Three Thoughts on the Dialogue

September 22, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

To revcom.us:

When I first heard news of the Dialogue between Bob Avakian (BA) and Cornel West (CW), I had three major thoughts.

First, I thought, "Holy shit, it's a really huge deal that BA is speaking in public! This hasn't happened, in this way, in a very long time, and there is both tremendous positive potential and very serious stakes to this... This is truly an extraordinary and exciting opportunity!"

The fact that BA is speaking publicly and the prospect of more than 1,000 people seeing him do so, with the Dialogue having even much broader societal reverberations/impact, really has the ability to be a game-changer and to effect a leap in terms of the societal influence and organized strength of the movement for revolution and the campaign within that to make BA much more broadly known to people... while at the same time, there is real risk involved here and there are people who would like nothing more to seize on this opportunity to do real harm to BA, so we better get busy making leaps in building a wall around him. The sentence in the article "Watching Fruitvale Station With Bob Avakian" stuck in my mind: "We had better fully recognize and appreciate what we have in BA, and act accordingly." As did the whole explanation of why this is so.*

Second, the fact that BA and CW are having a public dialogue, and the whole rich, deep back- and-forth between this revolutionary communist leader and this revolutionary Christian and radical intellectual—full of unity, struggle, mutual warmth, and appreciation—the exchange between the two speakers can really inspire the hell out of people, awaken them to big questions, and challenge and transform the way people are thinking.

Third, the fact that BA and CW are having a dialogue on these particular huge questions confronting humanity and bound up with the future of humanity—revolution and religion—is a really big deal that can really inspire/challenge people's thinking and transform the terms around huge questions.

All three of these factors are related to the major, game-changing societal impact this Dialogue can have...

A further thought: The fact that CW, with his intellectual integrity, moral courage, and love for the masses, is having a public dialogue with BA makes a big statement that Bob Avakian is someone people had better find out about... if we're not recognizing that, I think we're missing something big.

And, a question: Having said all that, and in thinking about how people are approaching this thus far, I wonder whether Point 1—"Holy shit, BA is speaking in public... do we realize what a huge fucking deal this is?!?!"—is getting the adequate recognition, attention, and projection it deserves.

A revolutionary


* From the article "Watching Fruitvale Station With Bob Avakian": " BA is not only the leader of the revolution, he is also a best friend to the masses of people.  He is a leader who has done decades of work in the realm of theory to bring forward the scientific method, strategy and vision needed to make revolution and bring into being a radically new world where all the horrors that humanity suffers unnecessarily would be no more. He is continuing to develop the advanced scientific method that he has forged, and apply that method to all of the big questions and obstacles confronting the revolution. He is able to break down all of this down for people, without even slightly watering it down, in a way that everyone can understand, take up, and be inspired by. He has taken on the daily responsibility of leading a party and a movement to make revolution right here in the most powerful imperialist country in the world. He has dedicated his life to the emancipation of humanity. And, through all of this, he maintains a deep, visceral connection to and feeling for the masses of people who most desperately need this revolution." [back]

 


 

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Revolution #354 September 22, 2014

Watching Fruitvale Station With Bob Avakian

August 22, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

For those who don’t know, Fruitvale Station is a very powerful, moving, and excruciating film that depicts the last day in the life of Oscar Grant.  Oscar was a 22-year-old, unarmed Black man murdered by Bay Area Rapid Transit police on New Year’s Day, 2009.  He was returning home from celebrating on New Year’s Eve, when police stopped Oscar and the friends he was with, harassed and brutalized them, straddled Oscar as he lay face down on a subway platform, and fatally shot him in the back. 

Not too long ago, I watched Fruitvale Station with Bob Avakian (BA), chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party.  Towards the very end of the film, agonizing, heartbreaking and infuriating scenes are shown: The cop shooting Oscar in the back; Oscar’s girlfriend frantically rushing to the scene, trying to find out what happened; Oscar’s loved ones gathering together and waiting desperately to find out if he would make it, only to find out he was gone forever.

As these scenes unfolded, I looked over at BA.  He was sobbing.  Not just misty-eyed. Sobbing.  And he continued to cry tears of heartbreak and rage for several minutes, as the closing credits rolled.

This made a very big impression on me.  BA did not know Oscar Grant personally. But he felt the sting of his murder in an extremely raw and visceral way. And I think his reaction speaks volumes about who Bob Avakian is, what he represents, and what he is all about. 

BA has literally been fighting against this system for 50 years.  He has been a revolutionary communist for about 45 years.  He has been shouldering the responsibility of leading the Revolutionary Communist Party for almost 40 years. And over the course of the last several decades, he has forged the theory and deepened the science for the revolution humanity needs to get free, while also providing practical leadership to the party and movement working for that revolution.  And all of this has involved not only tremendous work, but also tremendous risk and sacrifice on BA’s part as anyone with a sense of U.S. history, and/or BA’s personal history—specifically, what this reveals about the way the U.S. government viciously goes after revolutionary leaders—should well understand. And over all these decades, and through everything described above, BA has never lost an ounce of his love and feeling for the masses of people, his sense of outrage and hatred for all the ways in which the masses suffer needlessly, and his fire for revolution to emancipate the masses all over the world.  Not one bone in his body has become numb.  

There is a great deal more that could be said about the experience of watching Fruitvale Station with BA. But I want to highlight two points.

First, I think that in BA’s reaction to this movie, there is a lot for revolutionary communists, and anyone with concern for humanity and hatred for oppression and injustice, to reflect on and learn from.  Even with all the work BA has done and continues to do in the realm of theory, in order to forge a deeper understanding of why police murders like the execution of Oscar Grant and countless other outrages keep happening, the larger picture they are connected to, and how these outrages can be ended through revolution; even though BA has been at this for decades; and even with all of the horrors that pile up every single second that this system remains in place, there is absolutely no sense on BA’s part of world-weary detachment or defeatism when something like the murder of Oscar Grant goes down.  His reaction is decidedly not:  “Oh, well of course, this happens all the time, what do you expect?”   Rather, he cries tears of rage and anguish, both because he feels acutely the pain of Oscar’s life being stolen and because he knows that outrages like this are completely unnecessary and that humanity does not have to live this way.

This brings me to the second point I want to make here—and it is one I want to give even greater emphasis to, even while the first point above is very important and very related. The point I want to close this letter with is: We had better fully recognize and appreciate what we have in BA, and act accordingly.

I’ll say it again: We had better fully recognize and appreciate what we have in BA, and act accordingly.

And when I say “we had better,” that “we” is addressed to many different people and audiences.  Yes, I am most definitely speaking to revolutionaries and communists and to all those who are already deeply familiar with and supportive of BA.  But in saying “we,” I am also speaking to those who are just now—or just recently—learning about and getting introduced to this revolutionary leader—including, to quote BA, “Those this system has cast off, those it has treated as less than human” who “can be the backbone and driving force of a fight not only to end their own oppression, but to finally end all oppression, and emancipate all of humanity.”   

To all the masses of people, here and around the world, who suffer brutal oppression minute after minute, day after day... and to all those who may not directly suffer this oppression but ache for a world where this oppression is no more, I want to say this:  If you do not know about Bob Avakian, or just recently learned about him, that is not your fault.  But you, and millions of other people, need to understand how incredibly rare and precious it is for the people of the planet that we have this revolutionary leader and act in accordance with that reality.

BA is not only the leader of the revolution, he is also a best friend to the masses of people.  He is a leader who has done decades of work in the realm of theory to bring forward the scientific method, strategy and vision needed to make revolution and bring into being a radically new world where all the horrors that humanity suffers unnecessarily would be no more. He is continuing to develop the advanced scientific method that he has forged, and apply that method to all of the big questions and obstacles confronting the revolution. He is able to break all of this down for people, without even slightly watering it down, in a way that everyone can understand, take up, and be inspired by. He has taken on the daily responsibility of leading a party and a movement to make revolution right here in the most powerful imperialist country in the world. He has dedicated his life to the emancipation of humanity. And, through all of this, he maintains a deep, visceral connection to and feeling for the masses of people who most desperately need this revolution.

A leader like this comes along very, very rarely.  And when this does happen, the absolute worst thing we could do is fail to recognize this, fail to act in accordance with this, fail to take this seriously, or take this for granted.  Instead, all of us—whether we have known about BA for decades, are just learning about him and what he represents, or anywhere in between, and whether you agree with BA about everything or not—must fully recognize and embrace what BA means for the people of the world.  We must study, and learn all we can from his incredible body of work on the biggest questions of revolution and human emancipation, as well as the lessons of who he is and what he stands for as a revolutionary leader.  We must realize that it is not just us who need to know about BA, his work and vision, and the leadership he is providing to this party and movement for revolution:  millions of people must know about all of this, and this must impact all of society.    

Furthermore, and very crucially, we must fully confront the reality of what it would mean for the people of the world to lose this leader, and take extremely seriously that there are people and forces—those officially part of the powers-that-be, as well as those willing to do the work of the powers-that-be—who hate what BA represents and would like nothing more than to tear him down, silence him, and take him from the masses of people.  And we must be absolutely determined not to let that happen.

This means taking very seriously the need to do everything we can to protect and defend BA. This means denouncing and not giving a millimeter of space to those who slander and personally attack BA, because these attacks and slanders are part of creating the poisonous atmosphere and conditions that would make it easier for the powers-that-be, or those doing their bidding, to take BA from the people of the world.  Protecting and defending BA, and building a wall around him, also means boldly and sharply challenging those who may not be part of the camp of the enemy, but who are wallowing in, or at least being influenced by, arrogance, cynicism and snark, and who seek to dismiss without seriously engaging what BA has brought forward; this arrogance, snark, cynicism, and dismissal, regardless of the intent of those who fall into it, stands in the way of BA and all that he has brought forward having the reach and societal influence that this urgently needs to have.  And this, too, creates easier conditions for those who would try to silence and isolate BA and take him from the masses.

Few things in life are more tragic than a critical lesson learned too late. And it would truly be a tragedy if BA were taken from the people, and then people said: “Wow, I wish I had realized sooner what we had here.”

But the good news is: It is not too late.  We, and the masses of the planet, have BA right now.  We had better realize, and let everyone know, what that means.

 

 


 

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Revolution #354 September 22, 2014

Hundreds of Thousands Fill New York Streets to “Change Everything” and Save the Earth!

September 22, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

More than 300,000 people filled the streets of New York City on Sunday, September 21 in the People’s Climate March “to change everything” and save the Earth.  Worldwide, thousands upon thousands more joined in 2,808 solidarity events in 166 countries.  This is an extremely important and significant outpouring at this moment of grave environmental peril.  We encourage readers to dig deeply into the problem and the solution: read Revolution’s special issue on the environment:  “State of EMERGENCY! The Plunder of Our Planet, The Environmental Catastrophe & The Real Revolutionary Solution,” watch Revolution environmental correspondent Orpheus Reed’s recent talk at Revolution Books, NYC, and stay tuned to revcom.us for further coverage of the People's Climate March.

 

  • Photo: AP
  • Photo: Courtesy of Peoples Climate March
  • Photo: AP
  • Photo: Special to revcom.us/Revolution
  • Photo: Courtesy of Peoples Climate March
  • Photo: Special to revcom.us/Revolution
  • Photo: Special to revcom.us/Revolution
  • Photo: Courtesy of Peoples Climate March
  • Photo: Courtesy of Peoples Climate March
  • Photo: AP
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

 

This Revolution special issue focuses on the environmental emergency that now faces humanity and earth's ecosystems. In this issue we show:

  • the dimensions of the emergency...
  • the source of its causes in the capitalist system, and the impossibility of that system solving this crisis...
  • a way out and way forward for humanity—a revolutionary society in which we could actually live as custodians of nature, rather than as its plunderers.

Read online....

Also available in brochure format (downloadable PDF)

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/354/october-month-of-resistance-must-be-like-a-giant-stop-sign-en.html

Revolution #354 September 22, 2014

Read, Post and Spread

October Month of Resistance Must Be Like a Giant Stop Sign

September 22, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/353/a-pledge-of-resistance-en.html

Revolution #354 September 22, 2014

A Pledge of Resistance

September 15, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Revolution received the following from the Stop Mass Incarceration Network:

 

The October Month of Resistance to Mass Incarceration, Police Terror, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation has issued a Pledge of Resistance. Spread the pledge broadly thruout society, getting it to everyone you can.

On October 1st, everyone who hates the horrors of mass incarceration and all its consequences should gather at their schools, in their neighborhoods, at their work places, or at symbols of the abuses of the criminal justice system and take this pledge. Then we all need to act on it.

A Pledge of Resistance

What kind of society do you want to live in?

Today we pledge:

Black lives matter.
Latino lives matter.
All lives matter.

* Mass incarceration: WE SAY NO MORE!

* Police murder: WE SAY NO MORE!

* Torture in the prisons: WE SAY NO MORE!

* Criminalization of generations: WE SAY NO MORE!

* Attacks on immigrants: WE SAY NO MORE!

We will NOT be silent.

We WILL resist!

Until these shameful horrors really are... NO MORE!

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/354/columbia-meeting-on-mass-incarceration--changing-the-game-en.html

Revolution #354 September 22, 2014

Columbia Meeting on Mass Incarceration

Changing the Game

 

September 22, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From a reader:

On September 17, I attended a town hall meeting at Columbia University. The event was organized by the Columbia Black Alumni Council, the Harvard Black Alumni Society of New York, and a coalition of Columbia student organizations. Here are some observations I want to share with the readers of revcom.us coming off the event.

This town hall meeting, "Now What? The Role of Millennials in the Aftermath of Ferguson," was two days after a rally and speak-out organized by students on the campus titled "He Was No Angel: The Re-Valuing of Black Life." More than 200 students and others attended the rally. The New York Revolution Club called on those attending the rally to take a picture to declare their determination to resist and send a message around the country that students on this campus are joining others to put a stop to mass incarceration, police terror, repression and the criminalization of a generation. Nearly everybody—200 people—took the steps of the library. Someone asked, "Hands Up, or Fists Up?" There was a resounding response: "FISTS UP!" Someone was heard over the crowd yelling, "And NO SMILES!"

Fists Up! at Columbia University

At the town hall, the room was full (about 150 people), with mainly Black students, undergraduate and graduate; alumni and young professionals, as well as several white undergrads and graduate students; and Asian and Latino students.

First I want to note that there was a very deep and palpable sense among many of the students that this has to stop, that Black and brown lives matter, a very palpable sense of people confronting the fact that we live in a society where, when it comes to the lives of young Black men, they have no rights that a white man is bound to respect. The whole event started off with a very powerful slide show that included photographs from Ferguson, Missouri, and protests after the killing of Oscar Grant [in the San Francisco Bay Area], as well as photographs of Black people lynched, and one where white people crowded around, photographs of Emmett Till's beaten and mangled body, of his mother, Mamie Till, opening up his coffin for the mourners to see what had been done to her son. The slide show started as people were filing into their seats and as soon as some of the pictures of the lynching came up people around me stopped talking and just stared up at the screen.

BAsics 3:19 says, " There will never be a revolutionary movement in this country that doesn't fully unleash and give expression to the sometimes openly expressed, sometimes expressed in partial ways, sometimes expressed in wrong ways, but deeply, deeply felt desire to be rid of these long centuries of oppression [of Black people]. There's never gonna be a revolution in this country, and there never should be, that doesn't make that one key foundation of what it's all about."

And what you felt in that room, and especially later in the break-out session I was in, was some of this deep, deep desire to be free of this, a real questioning of why, after slavery, after Jim Crow, Black and brown men are being shot down like animals in the street, why millions of people are being warehoused in prisons across the country, why millions and millions of youth are living daily in a state of constantly being harassed, brutalized, humiliated and often (every 28 hours) killed by the police. The people in this room were a microcosm of people who think and feel in similar ways, and we should not underestimate that there is a very deep and palpable sense among millions of people right now who are in deep anguish about, are seriously searching for answers to why we are in this situation, and also have a certain determination that this must stop, that we cannot live like this anymore.

As part of the program of the evening, people were polled via text regarding their initial feeling when they heard about Michael Brown's murder. The largest number of responses by far was angry and the second largest was disillusioned. The organizers from the law students alumni association were very moved that Juanita Young and Iris Baez, two parents whose children had been murdered by police, were in the room, and they started off the event by introducing them to the audience.

The second observation I want to make is that early on in the questions and answers, a revolutionary communist got up and very polemically and passionately led people to look at the real situation we face, the revolution we need, and how they can be involved in changing everything right now. This completely changed the terms in the room over what was possible and desirable. Whereas before, some aspects of the full brutal reality of the oppression of Black people had been in the room, there were ways in which this reality was being papered over. A panelist who had done extensive research in how stop-and-frisk has been wielded as a tool for racial profiling said that there was no basis to say why Black people have been systematically targeted and criminalized, warehoused, and even murdered. One of the questions that repeatedly was put to the organizers in building for the event and via social media as the event was going on was what we do now after Ferguson—what's next. Another of the panelists put forward a paltry vision of each person should get involved with an organization, go to a meeting and get involved. People on the panel were correctly criticizing that yet another superficial conversation about race in America is not what is needed, but the programs and proposals being put forward were not coming from a full confrontation of why this keeps happening, the trajectory of this, and what everyone who is outraged, or is won to be, can and must do now. This was very demobilizing for the people who were in the room, people driven to come to this evening because they are in turmoil and want to act in a way that changes the situation.

This is why the intervention from the revolutionary communist was so important—you could feel it crack the atmosphere in the room—with passion and science the revolutionary put front and center the actual situation confronting people right now, from the start of this country down to today, the genocidal nature of the program of police murder, mass incarceration, and criminalization of the youth, and the fact that we need revolution, nothing less, to get rid of this system once and for all and bring something radically different, something liberating, into being. He talked about the role that Freedom Summer 1964 played in changing how millions of people thought about the position and role of Black people, the role that Freedom Summer played in millions of people society wide confronting what that position and role is and where they were going to stand in relation to that. This is about changing how millions of people think and act based on the actual reality. And then the revolutionary went into the two major things happening this fall that can and need to be real advances in the movement for revolution—the October Month of Resistance to mass incarceration, police terror, repression and the criminalization of a generation, and the Dialogue between Cornel West and Bob Avakian, "Revolution & Religion: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion." Throughout his remarks, the revolutionary brought out how the whole system, the thinking and way of living, morality has to be radically changed and, yes, everything in society tells us that this is the best of all possible worlds, so the best you can do is find your way to plug in, your niche, your meeting to go to, but this is just not true, there is a whole other way we can live and that's what Bob Avakian's life and work has been about, and if you care at all about the emancipation of humanity you need to be there November 15.

It was striking how the entire tenor in the hall changed while he was speaking, people loudly applauding for different sections, snapping their fingers, deep murmurs of approval, people who had put the November 15 card into their pockets pulled it out and started reading it, and after he spoke, what he had said now reframed the entire conversation. The question of revolution was in the air and being struggled over, even as most people meant different things by it. People in the crowd, including the two mothers whose sons have been murdered by police, Juanita Young and Iris Baez, spoke very compellingly. One young man said he has been grappling with the legacy of MLK and the role of nonviolent resistance. In response Iris Baez said that she was against violence and then went on to talk about the violence and brutality unleashed by the police against her son, against all these other young men and with no justice meted out in case after case after case. Juanita Young spoke about how this has changed her whole life, how she can't imagine being free of the murder and loss and anguish of her son until she dies, about how people would tell her to accept a financial settlement for the murder of her son, but how she refuses because this will not bring him back, will not provide the justice for the police having murdered her son Malcolm on a staircase with his hands cuffed behind his back and leaving his body on the stairwell for hours. She made a very compelling pitch for October 22nd, The National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation, and why everyone needs to be out that day, walking out of school, etc.

As the larger session was breaking up into smaller groups, the organizers asked the revolutionary communist if he would like to lead a session, which he jumped at the opportunity to do, and as people filtered out of the room, mingling in smaller groups, I walked by several small groups of people talking about revolution, what it means. Over 20 people came to the breakout led by the Revolution Club.

I have two other quick observations I would like to make. First, people are really looking for meaningful ways to act now—this was evident both in the larger meeting as well as the smaller breakout groups. We have to appreciate this and act to both inspire and organize people very concretely. People were serious about the very short time we have before the Month of Resistance starts, but they set themselves to the task of what are we trying to accomplish and how should we go about doing this. Some of the sentiments reflected in correspondence we received after included: "This week a rally and town hall meeting was organized on campus to bridge the Columbia, Harlem and greater NYC communities together in solidarity, dialogue, and action. Attending both events, I have learned that the month of October has been declared a Month of Resistance on a national scale. This is our time to act!" "There is no more waiting for the right time. Today we stop saying I and start saying WE. As a community overflowing with power and resources, I would like all of us to work together as a people of different backgrounds and join efforts to fight this fight hand in hand. How do we contribute to the Month of Resistance? We start by securing a location for Cornel West and Carl Dix..."

Some of the students went to work the very next day to find a space on the campus for a symposium on mass incarceration, police murder, repression and the criminalization of Black and Latino youth, with Cornel West and Carl Dix as well as at least two professors on campus. Other students feel deep connections with the people in the neighborhoods they are from—they want this kind of conversation and action to be happening among those who face the hardest hell every day, and some initial plans were made right away to get into these neighborhoods. All of this is very initial and much needs to be figured out over the next week, including how do we put radically simple tools into people's hands so they can organize their schools, campuses, projects, and neighborhoods, how to have all that feed into the Stop Mass Incarceration Network (SMIN) website. And people should be getting overall direction and key guidance from the website.

The final observation I have is that I asked the revolutionary communist what moved him to speak as he did and he mentioned two things. First, he reflected on and took guidance from a recent piece that went online at revcom.us:, "It's ALL about Getting Free: The Forest and the Trees," which I would encourage everyone to read right away, as well as the fact that although there was a palpable sense in the room of the depth of the problem we faced, the overall framework being put forward did not allow us to look squarely at the magnitude of the horrors facing humanity with the science, imagination, and rigor necessary to see how we can actually get free. And what was striking was that after he made his comments, the room was way, way more alive with wrangling, discussion, and, yes, struggle, all of which are necessary if we are to get free. All of this and much more is embodied in BA and the leadership he provides, and it matters very much if we keep bringing out to people who BA is, and what a rare opportunity it is to see this person live and in person on November 15.

 


 

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Revolution #354 September 22, 2014

It's ALL about Getting Free:

The Forest and the Trees

September 18, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

To the editor:

I went to a meeting this week on building the dialogue between Bob Avakian and Cornel West coming up on November 15. The meeting had a really good short talk on the importance of this Dialogue and then people broke down into groups to get into how to build it. There was a good spirit in the air. But that’s not what I’m writing about here.

Instead, I’m writing about a conversation I had with a friend right before the meeting, as people were hanging around. This comrade told me he had gone to a big rally of hundreds of students against police murder and mass incarceration. He told me how he had talked about the Month of Resistance against Mass Incarceration, Police Terror, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation at this rally, and really got into some good points on that, but that he didn’t get into the dialogue until the end and he was running out of time. He felt bad about this and he asked my advice.

I told him honestly that it sounded like he was losing sight of how things were related in reality. If you keep reality in mind, it really shouldn’t be that hard. If I were at that rally, I told him, even if I only had a few minutes to talk to people, I would tell them that I was there to talk about getting FREE of the horrors that this system just can’t seem to get rid of. I’m talking about ENDING this shit, and I’m talking about emancipation, and if YOU want to get free I’m here to recruit you into a movement to do that. Right now this movement is working to make a giant leap, and it’s doing two huge things this fall as part of that.

One big thing is working with hundreds and even thousands of other people all over to make October a whole month of resistance against this genocidal system of the “New Jim Crow,” to change the very way that people think, talk and act about these questions and to actually move to STOP all this. And then, right after that, we’re building a major Dialogue on November 15 between Bob Avakian and Cornel West on “Revolution and Religion: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion.”

Then you could talk about the Month—and this could be very simple, along the lines of the short new piece that is on page one of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network home page about how this month is going to be like a giant STOP sign to society. I would make sure to let people know how they can get hooked in, and that however they want to act, there is room for them. You could even at this point lead people in the oral part of the pledge (that is also on the first page of the Stop Mass Incarceration website).

Then, right away, you get back to the Dialogue. You say that many people know about Cornel West, but you could still say a little about him just the same—what a unique and invaluable role he plays in fighting for a just and meaningful life, and fighting for the people, up against the dominant culture and ethos of this society. And then you could say that not enough people know about Bob Avakian—yet—but that’s gotta change and it’s gonna change. 'Cuz BA is the leader who’s actually developed a strategy for REVOLUTION right here in this country as part of a world revolution AND a plan for a new society where these horrific outrages are done away with and we build a new society where ALL people can flourish and be free. And this dialogue is gonna be all about that: Can we get free? Can we really do away with this monstrous way of life, which is nothing but a way of death? Can we get to a different world? You’re going to hear BA—someone who’s done the work on this on a whole other level, who’s developed the science of revolution and gone way beyond what has been done before and has been leading a party that is built on that foundation—in dialogue with Cornel West, who from his own standpoint has also been right there on the front lines, fearlessly telling the truth and standing with the people and never settling in. You’re going to see two people who share a deep love for the masses of people. I would tell people to definitely listen to the interview that Cornel did with BA at revcom.us to get a sense of what this was going to be getting very deeply into. And you tell people how there’s nothing like seeing BA live and in person, and this is definitely NOT to be missed if you are at all interested in getting free.

You could say that we are gonna build up the love to defend these leaders against all the attacks that we know this system brings down on leaders who do lead people to stand against it, especially as they begin to get a hearing and a following, attacks that are coming down even now. If you’re speaking to an audience of those the system has cast off and dogged, you can make the point that this dialogue is for YOU, that you will be WELCOME there, and we will work with you to make sure that you can get there—because you have a crucial role and special role to play in this whole revolution we’re talking about and you need to know this leader. And you could tell people they need to stay plugged into revcom.us to know all about this, to get the real deal in real time. And that again, you are here to recruit people into a movement that is going for a whole different way of life.

Now you might not have enough time to do all that. Or you might have time and freedom to do more. But you make that big point about what is fundamentally needed—getting free, revolution—and who you are and that we got something for people to do right now to make a big leap in getting there. And you get into those two big things that are going into the big leap. And if you’ve been asked to speak representing a specific organization—like Stop Mass Incarceration, the level of unity of which is around that specific goal—you make clear that “speaking for yourself” you are down with making a revolution to get free and you see fighting to stop this horrific genocidal program as part and parcel of that, laying out that people need to be making plans for and telling people about this Dialogue.

It shouldn’t be—it isn’t—that hard. But we get bollixed up when we lose sight of the basic relationship in reality of the different things we are doing. We lose sight of the forest for the trees, and begin treating each tree like a boxed-off thing unto itself. But in reality, a tree is part of a larger eco-system. And everything people are up against in society, and wanting and needing to fight, springs from—or at least is maintained, reinforced and driven forward—by a social system, an OPPRESSIVE social system. Everything we do is about leading people to get free of that system and is part of a plan to do that—to get free, through revolution. That means uniting with people in resistance and taking that resistance higher. It means showing, as we do, that there’s a way out of all this insanity and needless oppression. And if you’re doing that—if you’re “living there”—then you’re gonna see both how important it is that this Month of Resistance involve tens and even hundreds of thousands of people in resistance, AND how crucially important and potentially impactful this November Dialogue could be—the unique chance to hear BA live and in person and in dialogue with Cornel West, and the very rare and absolutely-not-to-be-missed opportunity that it is.

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/354/stolen-lives-mothers-urge-others-to-take-a-stand-en.html

Revolution #354 September 22, 2014

Looking to October Month of Resistance to Mass Incarceration, Police Terror, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation

Stolen Lives Mothers Urge Others to Take a Stand

September 22, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

On September 1, four women sat around in a park, laughing and having a fun time, eating good food, and talking together at the BA Everywhere Picnic Celebration in Harlem, New York. These women -- Iris Baez, Juanita Young, Margarita Rosario and Hala Bah -- have all had their sons stolen from them, murdered by the NYPD. They were also joined by Joshua Lopez whose uncle was shot and killed by the NYPD. Revolution/revcom.us reporter Li Onesto took this special opportunity to sit down and talk with these brave women who have been in the fight to get justice not only for their loved ones, but to put an end to police murder and brutality once and for all.

 

Revolution: Let’s start off with how you all felt when you heard about the murder of Michael Brown in Ferguson -- and then how did you feel when you saw the people rising up against that?

Mothers Cry for Justice - All Out for #O22! Iris Baez & Juanita Young, whose sons were both murdered by the NYPD call on you to join the October Month of Resistance and take the streets on October 22nd!

 

Nicholas Heyward Sr. on the Month of Resistance

Iris Baez: Well, I felt good because finally somebody did something, you know, and the president is now talking about it. So when it gets to that attention, then you may get an impact. But you can't put your guard down, because just because the president sent somebody to talk to the people, that doesn't mean that he's going -- they're going to do something about it. So just keep an eye on it, because that doesn't mean they're going to do something about it.

Revolution: You want to say something?

Joshua Lopez: My name is Joshua Lopez and I'm from Manhattan. And I lost my uncle to the NYPD three years ago in 2011 in Dyckman in Manhattan.

Revolution: What was his name?

Joshua Lopez: John Collado is my uncle's name.

When I heard about Ferguson, it angered me and it broke my heart. But when I saw people uprising and then like not putting up with what was going on and going to the streets to fight and everything, I felt good about it, because, you know, it's been going on for too long already. It's like we fought with -- we marched with the civil rights movement, we marched with the Black Panthers and we was asking and nothing happened. Everybody that was asking is either dead or in jail. So what should we do? Keep asking? So that's why I agree with the people in Ferguson, what they are doing....

Margarita Rosario: I applaud the people in Ferguson. I wish I was there.

Revolution: Can you tell people your story?

Margarita Rosario: My name is Margarita Rosario. I'm the mother of Anthony Rosario and the aunt of Hilton Vega, who were killed on January 12, 1995 by two ex-bodyguards of Mayor Giuliani, Patrick Brosnan and James Crow.

Ever since my son -- when my son and my nephew were killed, I felt like the world was over. But then I realized that, you know, the other way that I was going to get justice was to stand up and fight. And I applaud people that stand up and fight. I thank people that has always been there for me, to back me up, to help me in doing this fight. And I wish I had been in Ferguson. Unfortunately, I couldn't make it there....

Margarita Rosario: Whatever it was... because it felt good to see the people rise, to see the people fight for justice for the rise of the people. It felt so good to see these people not be afraid. Wow!

Juanita Young: They weren't.

Margarita Rosario: I mean it -- it was like watching a movie, you know? When I saw that on the news, it was like watching a movie. I knew it wasn't a movie, it was REAL.

Juanita Young: Real. Yes.

Margarita Rosario: It was so real that I was like yes, finally, you know? Finally, somebody is doing something, because for years I've been calling for [people to rise up] in New York City...

Juanita Young: For 14 years, I know that she's been calling for it.

Margarita Rosario: And it hasn't happened. And finally, to see, finally, people rise and do it, wow! That was -- that was fantastic. I loved it. And I applaud those people and I hope that they continue to fight, stand up and not be afraid. And New York City, we need to do the same thing. Get up and rise!

Joshua Lopez: That's right.

Juanita Young: That's what people were saying, yes.

Revolution: Hala, can you talk a little bit about who you are and your story?

Hala Bah: Yes. My name is Hala Bah. I'm Mohammed Bah's mother. Mohammed Bah was shot and killed on September 25, 2012 in his own apartment. Mohammed Bah was just a student who was sick who called an ambulance and the police just come shooting in his own apartment. And in Staten Island, when they called the rally, I was the first person on that line.

Revolution:You mean the recent rally to protest the police chokehold murder of Eric Garner?

Hala Bah: Yes. We was there. And we marched from corner to corner, but I couldn't even feel the pain, because it was the same thing, people are looking for to get. And we cannot stop that is for justice fighting. There is still got to change. They cannot play with our children's lives. They cannot play with our brothers and sisters' lives. Since they shoot my son, I just live because I want to fight for his justice. Otherwise, I was thinking it's the end of my life.

So I tell you that six months I couldn't be able to eat food by myself. People was feeding me. I never expect somebody can kill a child who's sick in their own apartment, not doing nothing.

So I think New York again might do the same thing [as Ferguson]. And I call on everyone in September 25, to give me a hand in front of his house by Morningside, 124 Morningside Avenue.

Revolution: And this is the anniversary?

Hala Bah: Yes, that is the anniversary, two years since they killed Mohammed Bah. I can appreciate and we need justice. "No Justice, No Peace!" They started doing that all the time... Now they're doing it to everybody, because they're not found guilty. All the time, they tell them they are not guilty. They don't have no punishment for what they're doing. We need justice. Thank you.

Revolution: Juanita?

Juanita Young: My name is Juanita Young. My son Malcolm Ferguson was murdered on March 1st of 2000. Since they murder of my son, I have led so many other families out here with having had their sons or nephews or family members murdered by the police.

My thing about what's going on is I think these cops, once they are involved in the murder, they should have their guns and badges immediately taken away. They should be suspended pending an investigation, not staying on the force, where they can continue to do more damage. I think that's one thing we need to fight for right now, is when these cops are involved in the murder, because the cop who murdered my son admitted to murdering him. And the system has done nothing to him. So I feel we need to do something besides going to these DAs and going to the Justice Department and saying we want to see something done.

I went to Ferguson because I felt so proud to be part of something where people finally stood up for their rights, even though it was, like they say, a small town, the fact that they were tired. People are really angry at how they were living. It wasn't just the fact that Michael Brown was murdered, it's the fact of what they did and how they did it.

That just set an example for all and every stolen life that's been taken by this law enforcement.

So people need to come out and take a stand and let everybody know that it's a way out of this. And if it means coming out, taking the street, do it. Thank you.

Revolution: Let me ask you this, what does it mean for you -- mothers of sons who have been murdered by the police -- to have each other? I mean I know some of you have been together in this fight for a long time.

Margarita Rosario: Well, you know, right now, I never have met [Joshua Lopez] -- I don't know if I've met this young man before. But right now, it feels good to know that young people like him are standing up. He's sitting here with us, listening to our stories, because he's been hurt. He's gone through the same thing that we've gone through, you know?

He lost an uncle. And it's good to see that he's going to take a stand, he's taking a stand on this. And he's a young man. So as the mothers that we've been together fighting for years -- it makes us stronger when we get together. It makes us stronger to know that I could lean on Juanita, I could lean on Mrs. Baez...

If I was to go to a rally or a speaking engagement and I get too emotional, I know that either one of them would hold my hand and tell me don't worry, because I know what you're going through, I've been there. And so that's like a support for me, knowing that these families are there to support me and for me to support them.

Juanita Young: When my son was murdered, Mrs. Baez and Mrs. Diallo came to my house. I was in pure shock. I'm like I knew them because of the news. And then they said, we came to see you. Just sitting with them gave me such a feeling, that I was able to handle what I needed to do a little bit better.

And then after I had buried my son and whatever and I went to a few meetings and I started meeting Margarita, I met Nicholas Heyward [whose son was murdered by the NYPD], just to know there were so many people out there that understood the pain that I was feeling, because when you talk to a lot of people, they'll say, oh, I don't know how you feel or I can understand your pain. No you can't. If you don't walk the walk we walk, you don't understand our pain. The pain we suffer has no expression or words. You can't touch the pain we feel....

Hala Bah: And this needs to stop. What's happening to us, we don't want it should happen to the others. It's got to stop. We can't believe how can those people can have their own children, love them and point a gun toward another people and shoot as fun, make as fun in my children, my son, three people shoot a sick person on their own bed. Why? They are making fun. That's my son. That's my son. That's my whole life....

Juanita Young: But that's what they don't realize. When they kill a person in a family, it don't just affect the person they murdered, it affects the whole family. How you could go home and hug your wife or your kids and say I love you and you done destroyed a whole family. I don't understand how they justify that with theyselves. I just don't understand.

Hala Bah: I don't get myself the same thing. I don't think they are thinking twice, because I love all kids. I love all young people. I love all children, because I love mine. And I help. I used to help work and help the less fortunate people. But now, since they killed my son, it's like I'm handicapped.

Revolution: One thing that I get really strongly from all of you is that you're motivated in this fight to fight for the justice for your children. But it's also more than that. Is that right?

Juanita Young: Yes.

Revolution: Could talk a little bit about that.

Margarita Rosario: See, our kids are gone and buried already. In my case, Baez and Juanita, it's been years already. But yet we're still out here. So that means that we care for our human beings. We care for our young people in the city that we live in. We want to make sure that young people don't continue to get hurt as they've been getting hurt.

Joshua Lopez: And they don't want no other mother to feel the pain that they feeling, that what they going through right now, because no mother should have to bury their son, especially by people that we look for protection. We pay cops for protection. And they murdering our kids, our family, uncles, brothers. And no mother should have to bury their son.

Hala Bah: Imagine like my kid, a 28 years old boy. Who wants to bury a 28 year student? Would you expect that person to get married, have a son...Who wants to bury a child? Nobody wants that. So I'm here for the justice. What's happened to me, I don't want no mother to have that same feeling.

Iris Baez: By putting the word out, we want other mothers -- don't wait until it happens to you, because a bullet don't have a name. So don't wait until they knock on your door and tell you that your son. Get involved. Get involved, October 22nd at 12:00...

Juanita Young: 14th Street in Union Square.

Revolution: I'm glad you said that, because October 22, the National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation is part of the October Month of Resistance and that was exactly my next question. How you see the importance of this Month of  Resistance.

Margarita Rosario: Well, that day is very important because we've been participating in October 22nd for years. And the way that we bring change is by continuing to spread the news around. And October 22nd, that's what they do, they spread the word out about families who have lost their children. They bring families who have lost their children to speak and have a voice, so our children have a voice that day. So that's why it's important for all families to come out and speak on that day.

Revolution: October 22 will be a nodal point in this whole month of resistance against this whole program of mass incarceration and police terror and the criminalization of Black and Latino people, especially the youth...

Hala Bah: We need more and more. We need more and more... Stand up now. Join with us. Fight for justice. Fight for our rights. We love our children. We love them the same thing how they love their own. This should stop.

Joshua Lopez: I think it's very important for all of us to get together and unite for the Month of Resistance, to get our voices out there, to be heard. And we must put an end to all this madness going on with our government.

Juanita Young: I'm calling for the youth to come out and stand with the mothers, even if you never had no one murdered or harassed or have nobody in prison, come stand with the October 22nd Coalition to Stop Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation, because don't wait until your mother has to come out and sit like us parents are doing to tell the story of what happened to their child. Come and stand so your parents cannot -- or do not have to be in the position of burying you. Stand up. Make a difference. Come out on October 22nd.

Margarita Rosario: And we must -- the reason that we need to come out is because we don't want what happened in Ferguson to happen here. The way they killed that young man... the way they killed Michael Brown and not only the way they killed him, but what took place afterwards, to leave a young man laying on the street, not to allow his mother to even go near him, do we want to see that here? No. So you need to come out, because we need to stop those kind of actions from the police department.

Juanita Young: Don't forget October 22nd, 1:00, 14th Street, Union Square. We're going to march from 14th Street to 42nd. Come and join the Parents Against Police Brutality. Thank you.

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/353/alice-walker-gather-en.html

Revolution #354 September 22, 2014

The following is posted on Alice Walker's website.

Month of Resistance NYC Alicewalkersgarden

Gather

©2014 by Alice Walker
for Carl Dix and Cornel West

It is still hard to believe
that millions of us saw Eric Garner die.
He died with what looked like a half dozen
heavily clad
policemen
standing on his body, twisting and crushing
him
especially his head
and neck.
He was a big man, too. They must have felt
like clumsy midgets
as they dragged him down.


Watching the video,
I was reminded of the first lynching
I, quite unintentionally, learned about:
it happened in my tiny lumber mill
town before the cows were brought in
and young white girls
on ornate floats
became dairy queens.
A big man too,
whom my parents knew,
he was attacked also by a mob
of white men (in white robes and hoods)
and battered to death
by their two by fours.

I must have been a toddler
overhearing my parents talk
and mystified by pieces of something
called “two by fours.”

Later, building a house,
i would encounter the weight,
the heaviness, of this varying length
of wood, and begin to understand.

What is the hatred
of the big black man
or the small black man
or the medium sized
black man
the brown man
or the red man
in all his sizes
that drives the white lynch mob
mentality?


I always thought it was envy:
of the sheer courage to survive
and ceaselessly resist conformity
enough to sing and dance
or orate, or say in so many outlandish
ways:
You’re not the boss
of me!
Think how many black men
said that: “Cracker,* you’re not the boss
of me;”
even enslaved. Think of how
the legal lynch mob
so long ago
tore Nat Turner’s body
in quarters
skinned him

and made “money purses”
from his “hide.”

Who are these beings?

Now we are beginning to ask
the crucial question.

If it is natural to be black
and red or brown
and if it is beautiful to resist
oppression
and if it is gorgeous to be of color
and walking around free,
then where does the problem
lie?

Who are these people
that kill our children in the night?
Murder our brothers in broad daylight?
Refuse to see themselves in us
as we have strained, over centuries,
to see ourselves in them?
Perhaps we are more different
than we thought.
And does this scare us?
And what of, for instance,
those among us
who collude?

Gather.
Come see what stillness
lies now
in the people’s broken
hearts.

It is the quiet force of comprehension,
of realization
of the meaning
of our ancient

and perfect
contrariness;
of what must now be understood
and done to honor
and cherish
ourselves:
no matter who
today’s “bosses”
may be.

Our passion
and love for ourselves
that must at last
unite
and free us. As we lay our sacrificed
beloveds to rest
in our profound
and ample caring:
broad, ever moving,
and holy,
as the sea.


* Cracker: from the crack of the whip wielded by slave drivers.


alicewalkersgarden.com
Reprinted with permission.

All Out for the Month of Resistance to Mass Incarceration, Police Terror, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation! Join a daily vigil starting on: Friday, September 12, 5 pm – 7 pm. Please read more.

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/354/from-the-stop-mass-incarceration-network-on-alice-walkers-poem-en.html

Revolution #354 September 22, 2014

 

From the Stop Mass Incarceration Network on Alice Walker's Poem

 

September 22, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

This appears at stopmassincarceration.net:

Alice Walker's poem "Gather" is an extremely powerful and moving poem, on its own terms and on many different levels. Alice Walker has brought out some very deep truths about the society we live in, the people we are, the reality we face... and what we must do. She has used imagery and incidents and words that reach deep into us, that change the way we feel and think about the world and ourselves, that touch our humanity. As art, this poem will live for a long, long time, moving people on many different levels and in many different ways.

At the same time, Alice Walker herself has linked this poem to the Month of Resistance and asked that it be used to build that month. This poem, out very broadly in society, can affect how people see the moment we are in and what they must do. It can be a way for people to act. Everyone who reads this poem has to help get this out!

Think about it. First, there's the question of helping to get this poem out to everyone you know. If you are on social media, maximize its exposure there. If you have a blog, post it. If you go to shows or talks or poetry readings, get this poem in front of people.

And aren't there other ways this poem can do its work? What if someone were to do a reading and make a good video of it? What if teachers were to organize a specific day in October when this poem was read and taught in classrooms all over the country?

Couldn't readings of this poem help anchor evenings in October where poetry and other forms of cultural expression against mass incarceration were "put on stage"? Could someone—or someones—with money pay for this poem to be printed, in October, in USA Today—or to otherwise get this out there before millions?

Alice Walker's poem is a gift, in more ways than one.

Let's accept it and use it in the spirit in which it was given.

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/354/the-spirit-of-ferguson-on-college-campuses-en.html

Revolution #354 September 22, 2014

 

The Spirit of Ferguson on College Campuses

September 22, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

In the last five or six weeks, since school started on college campuses around the country, many students have jumped into the struggle against police brutality and murder. Much of this has been inspired by the uprising of the people in Ferguson, Missouri, against the police murder of Michael Brown. Students in the New York area have participated in protests around the police chokehold murder of Eric Garner in Staten Island and many students went to Ferguson to stand with the people there to demand justice for Michael Brown. Lots of protests have been organized on campuses, including at historically Black colleges and elite colleges like Princeton, Harvard, Yale, and the University of Michigan. On a number of campuses, students have organized mass group photos of students doing the "hands up, don't shoot" pose; students have done YouTube videos and blogs from Ferguson. There have also been panels, teach-ins, and resolutions by students taking up the fight against police murder.

This very significant and welcome development needs to be encouraged and further unleashed as a powerful force in making the October Month of Resistance to Mass Incarceration, Police Terror, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation have society wide impact.

Following are some of the student protests/actions Revolution/revcom.us has learned about:

 

Howard University. On August 14, more than 300 students posed for a photo with their hands over their heads—in the "hands up, don't shoot" pose—in solidarity with protesters in Ferguson. Soon after this, the photo was tweeted and went viral, re-tweeted nearly 15,000 times. This inspired students to organize similar photo gatherings at many other campuses, including: 500 students at Central State University in Ohio; Harvard, organized by the Harvard Black Law Students Association; Morehouse College (Atlanta); Spelman College (Atlanta); University of Missouri (Columbia); Elon University (Elon, North Carolina); Bethune Cookman University (Daytona Beach, Florida); Northern Kentucky University (Highland Heights); Grambling State University (Grambling, Louisiana); Wright State University (Dayton, Ohio); Duke University (Durham, North Carolina), and the University of Virginia (Charlottesville).

Fists Up! at Columbia University

Columbia University. On September 15, more than 200 students and others rallied to speak out in solidarity with the people of Ferguson. The action was called for by Columbia's Black Law Students Association. Students told stories of degrading, threatening encounters with law enforcement and spoke about the rage they felt about the murder of Michael Brown. The New York Revolution Club called on the students to take a photograph to show the country how they are determined to stand with others to stop mass incarceration, police terror, repression and the criminalization of a generation. Two hundred students took the library steps and someone yelled "Hands up or fists up?" The response was a resounding "FISTS UP!" Someone yelled, "And NO SMILES!" Two days later, about 150 people attended "Now What? The Role of Millennials in the Aftermath of Ferguson," a town hall meeting organized by the Columbia Black Alumni Council, the Harvard Black Alumni Society of New York, and a coalition of Columbia student organizations.

Yale University. When some art students on August 19 began a show of solidarity, a silent march through downtown New Haven, many others joined in. One of the organizers said, "None of us can stay silent about a thing that really affects everyone and Yale is just one of many places that needs to be having this conversation."

Duke University. The Black Men's Union on August 25 released "Hands Up, Don't Shoot," a video featuring Black men students at Duke lifting their hands, newspaper headlines about the police shootings of Eric Garner, John Crawford, Ezell Ford, and Michael Brown, and the question: "How many more must die?" The Black Student Alliance organized a candle-lighting vigil, "Speak Your Peace," to stand in solidarity with Ferguson through poetry, art, and dialogue, and also encouraged the Duke community to wear black on the first day of classes to mark the funeral of Michael Brown.

University of Michigan. The Central Student Government on September 9 introduced a resolution to stand in solidarity with the people of Ferguson against police brutality. The proposal noted that "The killing of Michael Brown came less than a month after the brutal New York Police killing by chokehold of an older Black man, Eric Garner and just a week after Los Angeles police beat to death for 10 minutes 37-year-old Latino parent Omar Abrego." It also talked about police brutality on college campuses, citing an incident at the University of California, Berkeley, on November 9, 2011, when Berkeley police "attacked and brutalized a peaceful student demonstration."

North Carolina Central University, Durham

North Carolina Central University. August 25, 2014. Law students at a rally to protest the police killing of Michael Brown at the Turner Law Building at North Carolina Central University, in Durham. (AP Photo/The Herald-Sun, Bernard Thomas)

University of Maryland. Students organized a protest in front of the White House on September 8. After attending a Palestine rally in DC, the vice president of public relations for the Black Student Union (BSU) was inspired to organize the event, together with the Black Alliance Network, a group of student leaders from every Black student organization on campus. She said, "The Palestine rally was so powerful when I went, and I thought it would be awesome if I could get my people together for a cause, and about a month after the Michael Brown incident happened we knew we needed to do something."

Wright State University. On September 4, more than 200 students walked in a "March of Solidarity" for John Crawford, a 22-year-old Black man who was shot by the police in the toy aisle of the Walmart in Beavercreek, Ohio, while holding a toy gun.

Central Michigan University. Dozens of students held a protest on August 29 to protest police brutality in light of events in Ferguson.

Ohio University. Students for Law, Justice & Culture coordinated a faculty panel discussion of events in Ferguson on September 11 as part of a series "designed to shed critical light on the socio-economic causes and consequences of mass incarceration and harsh punishment in the U.S. criminal justice system, with special attention to the disproportionately destructive impact of this system upon individuals and communities of color." This event was also inspired by a call by Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, for a "national awakening" when she visited the campus in April 2014.

New York University. On August 29, dozens of students came together for 15 minutes of silence—for a "moment of solidarity, reflection and peace in order to honor the victims of police brutality and racial profiling."

Walkouts. Students organized walkouts at several colleges on the day of Michael Brown's funeral. The word went out on Facebook and Twitter; some used the photo of Howard University students with their hands up; people were encouraged to share photos and videos online, using the hashtag #HandsUpWalkout. The list of schools that had walkouts includes Washington University in St. Louis, George Mason University, Syracuse University, Antioch College, Sewanee, and the University of Kansas.

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/354/a-call-to-teachers-we-dont-have-to-get-used-to-oppression-en.html

Revolution #354 September 22, 2014

A Call to Teachers:

We Don't Have to Get Used To Oppression—
A Month of Resistance Against the New Jim Crow

September 19, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Revolution/revcom.us received the following call:

by a High School Teacher in the Bay Area

Over the last few years, I've taught about the New Jim Crow, and involved students in political protest against police brutality. I've challenged conventional wisdom about capitalism being the best humanity can do, and I've shared with them ideas of revolution and communism. I’ve also been told repeatedly that I should “be careful” of bringing my own politics into the classroom. That I should be “more balanced” in the perspectives and analysis I share with students. That I really shouldn’t leave students with a “negative view” of what this country is all about. These statements, and others like them, essentially argue “it’s not your place to take a moral stand in your role as an educator,” and in their worst expressions, “get used to this world we live in, nothing’s gonna change, so don’t get their hopes up.” 

No. I refuse to get used to this system, and I want to challenge all teachers who feel the same to step forward with me. It is our responsibility to teach the truth—and when the truth is that we live in a system that brutalizes and systematically criminalizes Black and Latino youth (not to mention all the other ways that women are degraded, our environment destroyed, etc.) we have a responsibility to take a moral stand.  

I often think about what kind of teacher I would have been if I lived during the horrors of Jim Crow segregation. If I knew there was a codified system of law relegating Black people to a status less than fully human. If I knew the viciousness with which police attacked and locked up those —youth in particular—who would dare to fight back for their dignity. If I saw the water cannons...the tear gas...the dogs. How would I teach to, and speak to, all of this?

I like to think that I would have been compelled—unabashedly, unapologetically—to bring my students into a determined fight for justice. Because that was the right side of history to be on. That I would have worried less about potentially upsetting some parents, administrators, and colleagues, and more about finding the ways to give students meaningful ways to fight back and STOP the terror that was Jim Crow. That I would have worried less about covering “approved” curriculum, and more about how to give students an understanding of how oppression is rooted in this capitalist system, and things don’t need to be this way. That I would have worried less about feigning an abstract “balance” of perspectives in the classroom (what would that even look like? Giving legitimacy to openly racist defenses of Jim Crow?!), and more about how to leverage the most advanced, conscious students, to break others out of a trained complacency or belief that things can’t fundamentally change. That I would have taken risks and put my body on the line to stand for what was right. 

If it is easy to look at the past and envision ourselves in righteous defiance against the "old" Jim Crow––why should we not take the same uncompromising stand today? I use this as a moral barometer to measure my own role as a teacher right now and I hope others will too— because right now, while the forms have changed, the viciousness and systemic nature of oppression remains. I refuse to be on the wrong side of history or simply stand on the sidelines while a battle over the future is raging. 

Some 2.2 million, mainly Black and Latino people, are warehoused in U.S. prisons. Thousands suffer the torture of long term solitary confinement. Our legal system has codified the criminalization of a whole generation of our youth, funneling them from school to prison. Black and Latino youth are gunned down in the streets by police at epidemic rates. And when people have gone beyond simply calling attention to this, but have acted in defiant resistance, as the youth have continued to do in Ferguson, the full armed force of the state is brought down on them. The dogs are back in the streets. 

The rebellion we saw in Ferguson has raised the stakes. It has inspired millions and brought new hope to those who dream of a day where Black and Latino youth don’t walk around with targets on their backs. This resistance must be upheld, and spread. If we are to truly get beyond this madness, it will take massive and determined actions of millions—coming together from a wide range of backgrounds and viewpoints—who are unwilling to “calm down” or give time to “let the system work.” 

The Stop Mass Incarceration Network, initiated by longtime liberation fighters Cornel West and Carl Dix, was started to fill a great need, and bring uncompromising struggle to END the brutality of Mass Incarceration and the New Jim Crow.  Please join me—in joining with this important movement. Let your students know about, and find the ways to unleash their righteous rage against all that is coming down on them. October 22 must be a day where tens of thousands —youth especially—lift their heads to say “NO MORE.” Where we link up and amplify each others work, through art, music, and political protest to make October a month that truly begins to turn the tide. 

There will be controversy and struggle, but we have a responsibility as teachers to look reality in the face. To confront it. To teach it. And to model for our students a refusal to get used to the world as it is, and a willingness to engage with ideas and movements that don't accept capitalism and democracy as the pinnacle of human development. We can not, nor should we want to shelter the youth from the harsh realities they are living through. And we must have the backs of those who dare to stand up, step forward, and fight back against their oppression. Change has never occurred without shaking up the status quo, and it is no different today. Let’s do this. 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/353/if-we-dont-resist-our-community-is-doomed-to-die-en.html

Revolution #354 September 22, 2014

Support for the October Month of Resistance to Mass Incarceration, Police Terror, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation

"If we don't resist, our community is doomed to die"

Updated September 22, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The following statements were written in support of the October Month of Resistance to Mass Incarceration, Police Terror, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation. Some were written right after the police murder of Michael Brown, when many people were going to Ferguson, Missouri, to join the protests there. Go to stopmassincarceration.net to read more statements.

Dr. Boyce Watkins, scholar, media commentator, and activist:

The Michael Brown/Ferguson situation is much bigger than Michael Brown and Ferguson. We must not forget that. One person, one incident and one city doesn't do justice to the magnitude of the police brutality/mass incarceration problem. Please join Cornel West, Carl Dix, Michelle Alexander and myself in the Stop Mass Incarceration Network. (StopMassIncarceration.net.)

The Stop Mass Incarceration initiative is long overdue in a society that is facing one of the gravest holocausts of all-time. As long as we are forced to live in a police state that is determined to incarcerate and exterminate our young people, our families will continue to be destroyed and the fabric of our communities will remain in peril. Most Americans now understand that a nation that spends more to incarcerate than to educate is one that is hell-bent on using capitalist greed as an excuse to re-implement slavery. This calls for all citizens to take a stand to put an end to the torture, marginalization, terrorism and trauma being inflicted upon the American people by a system that decided long ago that human life is worth less than money. That is why I support the Month of Resistance against Mass Incarceration. If we don't resist, our community is doomed to die.

Dyna Vargas, Burque Media, Albuquerque, New Mexico:

Ferguson, Missouri! That should be happening in every city. If it's not happening, it's a dangerous thing for us all. Militarized police occupying our neighborhoods and communities. When Albuquerque police executed James Boyd—a 38-year-old homeless man—I thought this was the beginning of the revolution or the end of the world. To allow this is to allow police to terrorize us all.

RESISTANCE! It's the greatest thing you can do and doing anything else is a crime against humanity. I want to go to Ferguson, Missouri. Albuquerque needs to be present—we are plagued by cops brutalizing, terrorizing and murdering people. 28 people in the last four years by APD [Albuquerque Police Department]. Sheriffs and U.S. Marshals are killing people in this area too. In two minutes on TV, they criminalize the movement for justice. But I see beyond these rationalizations for murder—including the murder of Mike Brown by Ferguson police. Protesters are fighting against tear gas, smoke canisters, rubber bullets—and this is only one aspect of something larger.

The Department of Justice is here in Albuquerque, New Mexico. They're here! What's happened? The violence has escalated. Nothing has changed except people get inactive. "The DOJ is taking care of it." Bullshit! We have to save ourselves and no one can save us but ourselves.

I want to go to Ferguson, Missouri. We need funding and we need sponsorship. We have a month of activities planned for the October Month of Resistance in Albuquerque. Downtown APD headquarters on October 22 and other actions. We need to get to Ferguson now, because we want to be united with the people in Ferguson. Make a financial contribution to help us get there. Thank you.

Juanita Young, mother of Malcolm Ferguson, killed by New York Police Department in 2000. Just returned from Ferguson, Tuesday, August 19:

It was definitely an experience, being in Ferguson, Missouri this past week. People have finally taken a stand! Most of the time the police murder someone, there is protest, but not with enough power, and then the police murder the next person.... This time Ferguson, Missouri said enough is enough. I stand with them 100%. Maybe my son would still be alive if this was done earlier.

The system usually pays no mind and then they murder the next person. Not now. People are saying NO MORE! The system says people are rioting and it has to stop. Who are they talking to? The cops in Ferguson—they are ridiculous! Everywhere we protested in Ferguson this last week, every march we joined, cops agitating against the people and provoking the people and physically bumping us and threatening to arrest us. But people have a right to do what they are doing. Michael Brown—the wrong that they have done—they are covering it up. I'm proud of St. Louis. Then the governor calls out the National Guard! What's he doing? What does this tell you?

When Carl Dix is talking and saying an innocent 18-year-old young man has been shot down by cops—Carl is arrested. Why isn't the cop who shot Michael Brown arrested? The cop needs to be indicted, arrested, and even that won't be the end of it because they could rig the jury, so this fight needs to continue. Let's have the Stolen Lives families from around the country in St. Louis and Ferguson ASAP—people should give money and Frequent Flyer miles to sponsor that.

Mark Lewis Taylor, Professor of Theology and Culture, Religion and Society, Princeton Theological Seminary (for identification only):

It is time for Christians and all peoples of faith and conscience to give our support and participation to the October Month of Resistance to Mass Incarceration, Police Terror, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation. The police terror and its militarization, as brutally showcased in Ferguson, Missouri, in the wake of the killing of Michael Brown, is no new thing. It is a form of state terror long institutionalized in U.S. prisons, anchored in U.S. history of slavery and lynching, and in capitalist exploitation. This state terror is recycled in the exploitation, stigmatization and expulsion of immigrant groups, and in ever new U.S.wars, covert and overt, against what W. E.B. Du Bois termed the "darker nations."

The time is long past due, to say No! Enough!—to resist and transform policing in this country, to halt the injustices of U.S. military war-making (such as those supporting Israel in its "politicide" in Gaza today), and to end U.S. mass incarceration.

This will require whole new approaches to building democracy and rule in this country. Now is the time to commit to the Month of Resistance, in spite of and because of current state officials' willingness to criminalize nearly anyone in this generation who dissents to the state terror visited upon the poor, especially upon African- and Latino/a- Americans, but increasingly Asian- and Arab-Americans, too—indeed, upon white dissenters as well. As Chris Hedges recently wrote when noting today's collaboration of corporate and media elites with the surveillance industry and paramilitary forces, "Rise up, or die."

Churches and Christians should be at the forefront of this movement. Alas, they all too often are stragglers to the rear – complicit at worst, silent at best. I, as one follower along the way of the crucified figure, Jesus of Nazareth, note again the solid historical point that if you were among the crucified—as Jesus was—you were a resister to imperial power, or seen as counter to it. Rome reserved crucifixion as the mode of death for the rebel, for transgressors of empire's force.

Real followers of Jesus will step forward in this moment, and take up the long struggle, moving along the way of Jesus against imperial forces. Today, this means resistance to U.S. racialized state terror, both on our nation's streets and in U.S. wars abroad. State terror in all its forms – whether as mass incarceration, war or militarized policing—is a flagrant abuse of justice, love and dignity. Let October of 2014 show a new rising of the churches, of all followers of Jesus, alongside and in collaboration with all peoples of conscience from all our traditions – so to make a new way in this country. One means of beginning this effort is to support – wherever you are and however you can—the October Month of Resistance to Mass Incarceration, Police Terror, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation.

Pamela Fields, son Donte Jordan killed by Long Beach, California, police in November 10, 2013; nephew Dante Parker killed by Victorville, California, police August 12, 2014:

Ferguson, Missouri—that needed to happen! For all the communities where police murder is going on. It's Mike Brown, and it's also Donte Jordan, Tyler Woods and so many others. When my son was killed people in Long Beach were sleeping. Ferguson, Missouri, has shown real gall—defiance. This gets the attention of the President, Attorney General, everyone. We've lost any trust in law enforcement. They cover things up. Everybody I know don't trust the police. My son, Donte Jordan, was heading home – 39-year old-man—and he was shot 12 times by Long Beach police. We need to raise awareness of his assassination. We need to end the cover up.

Last week, August 12, Dante Parker, my nephew, he was riding a bicycle. He has a heart ailment. He got sick. He had to stop. He sat down. He was sweating profusely. Someone called the cops. The police arrived. He was tased! And then they tased him 11 more times—12 times total! They put him the cop car and the cops went and got their lies together. He died!

Ferguson, Missouri —I'm part of Stolen Lives families, I call us Angel Moms. We need to go to Ferguson, Missouri. I'm ready to go to Ferguson. I'm taking the first seat in the first row. I am ready to go and I want to bring my nephew's mom and nephew's wife with me.

Dionne Smith Downs, son, James Earl Rivera, killed by Stockton, California, police and Stockton sheriffs, 2010:

We went to Ferguson and I was there for five days, Monday through Friday last week. I need to go back tomorrow for this weekend in Ferguson, Missouri. People in Ferguson gave me the courage to fight even more! Police and media show and talk about other things, but they don't talk about how when we marched and protested how positive it was— that the people of Ferguson, the community, fed us, gave us water, towels, umbrellas, apples, oranges and sustained us. That cop who killed Mike Brown should go to jail! But, you know what, he'll get bailed out—not like any one us if we murdered someone.

Who polices the police? My personal opinion is he should be charged with murder, the officer should be arrested. Prosecuted to the fullest. But what's happening is the police who murder our loved ones are funded!

I'm going back to Ferguson this weekend to support the mother. I saw the autopsy report and it hurts. They say wait... wait... for investigation. That's too long. We understand the mother's pain. We know it and we feel it.

It was four years ago for me. James Earl Rivera killed by Stockton cops. I still have sleepless nights. We want laws changed to protect us. They walk on every murder! Has to be a stop to it. Laws need to protect us, but they protect the police. That should be no more. California stands with the people of Ferguson and Mike Brown's mother. We got to get the community to come out. People should give funds because media don't show the truth—we need to go to Ferguson to get the truth out. People exercising their rights and being arrested for it. Joey Johnson went to jail and others too and I was there when they shot tear gas at us.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/354/october-student-challenge-en.html

Revolution #354 September 22, 2014

October Student Challenge

September 22, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From a Revolution Club member:

This summer, I was arrested for an act of civil disobedience in Austin, Texas, because abortion rights are in a state of emergency. I was arrested for the 47,000 women who die per year of unsafe and illegal abortions and the millions more who are forced into motherhood. I was arrested because I understand the objective need for people to put their bodies and lives on the line for the liberation of women. I was arrested because I'm tired of this rape culture, because women are not bitches, or ho's, or punching bags, and NO ONE is entitled to control over their bodies. I was arrested because I found a movement for revolution that put forward a scientific understanding of reality, and I took it up. I was arrested, and I would like to see millions of students willing to make the same sacrifice, but there's this stifling and toxic ideology that's shutting people up. It's telling them that history is made up of "competing narratives." It's saying that if you're white, you can't talk about the fact that one in three Black males born today will end up in prison (much less will they stand up against it); and if you're a man, you can't stand for women's liberation because it's one-third of the FEMALE population that is raped or sexually assaulted, and you wouldn't know how to fight back; and if you're not Palestinian, you can't possibly know that Israel is committing a genocide, killing over 2,242 Palestinians this year alone (as compared to the death toll of 76 on their part), so sit back down and "check your privilege."

Don't you listen to that for a second because they're not humbling you, they're letting you off the hook! How? They're not holding YOU accountable for fighting to end the oppression of billions and for the betterment of humanity. People are far too much concerned with owning oppression than they are with putting an end to it. People are forgetting what it means to search for truth because they are trying to evaluate how oppressed you are before they grant you the right to speak. Have people forgotten that even if we grant the oppressed masses the ability to speak, they'll still be oppressed?! The problem isn't that people don't have a voice or a safe space, it's that the system is working exactly the way it's supposed to: It's demoralizing people with its repressive tactics, pitting them against each other, and disguising their oppression as a lack of personal responsibility. There are "no excuses," says Obama. Well, I say fuck that! Let's not create a safe space for just our people (whoever that group may be) within a messed up world.

Let's NOT settle for just a little bit less exploitation and oppression. Just a little bit less rape and degradation. Just a little bit less genocide here and around the world. Just a little bit less cold-blooded murder by the police. Let's put an end to all this! Let's be the liberation generation. Changing the course of history for the better takes mass resistance, so I'm calling on you to put identity politics aside and seriously take up this fight for the emancipation of humanity. I'm calling on YOU to make all oppression a personal problem whether you're Black, white, Hispanic, Asian, whatever. Whether you're male, or female, or none of the above. You have to be on the streets in October! You have to be a part of this Month of Resistance against mass incarceration and police terror. There is a slow genocide of Black and brown people. No! This is not an exaggeration. They have suffered through the first stage of demonization and are now in the containment stage. Are we going to wait until they start exterminating people to fight back?!

We can't have business as usual when this is going on.

Get involved! stopmassincarceration.net and revcom.us

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/354/justifying-and-collaborating-with-israels-genocidal-attacks-on-palestinians-in-the-name-of-peace-and-justice-en.html

Revolution #354 September 22, 2014

JUSTIFYING and COLLABORATING WITH Israel's Genocidal Attacks on Palestinians in the Name of "Peace and Justice"

September 22, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

As spoken to by Alan Goodman in a recent statement on revcom.us,* this is what is done in an ad in the New York Times (Saturday, September 13, 2014) under the perverse heading "Commitment to Peace and Justice." Sponsored by a so-called "Creative Community for Peace" and friends, this ad is signed by an array of people in Hollywood, and others in the arts, all of whom should—and, in some cases at least, very likely do—know better. Under an utterly flimsy cover of "peace and justice," it begins with a perverse and hypocritical lament for the supposed "devastating loss of life endured" by Israelis (!!) as well as Palestinians—as if the two were on an equal level, when the loss of life by Palestinians was more than 20 times greater, and was overwhelmingly civilians, including hundreds and hundreds of children, while almost all of the Israeli dead were soldiers, killed in the context of an invasion of Gaza. The ad then quickly moves to its own version of the sickening Israeli mantra that "Hamas made us slaughter Palestinian children."

Those who have signed this ad—out of whatever motivation—need to be called to account for what they are doing.

* Questions for the "Creative Community for Peace": Is There ANY Crime Israel Commits That You Won't Justify?

 

Two Ads: One Righteous, One Reactionary

An Inspiring and Courageous Act: Hundreds of Jews CONDEMN Israel's Genocidal Attacks on Gaza:

Jewish survivors and descendants of survivors and victims of Nazi genocide unequivocally condemn the massacre of Palestinians in Gaza

As Jewish survivors and descendants of survivors and victims of the Nazi genocide we unequivocally condemn the massacre of Palestinians in Gaza and the ongoing occupation and colonization of historic Palestine. We further condemn the United States for providing Israel with the funding to carry out the attack, and Western states more generally for using their diplomatic muscle to protect Israel from condemnation. Genocide begins with the silence of the world.

We are alarmed by the extreme, racist dehumanization of Palestinians in Israeli society, which has reached a fever-pitch. In Israel, politicians and pundits in The Times of Israel and The Jerusalem Post have called openly for genocide of Palestinians and right-wing Israelis are adopting Neo-Nazi insignia.

Furthermore, we are disgusted and outraged by Elie Wiesel's abuse of our history in these pages to justify the unjustifiable: Israel's wholesale effort to destroy Gaza and the murder of more than 2,000 Palestinians, including many hundreds of children. Nothing can justify bombing UN shelters, homes, hospitals and universities. Nothing can justify depriving people of electricity and water.

We must raise our collective voices and use our collective power to bring about an end to all forms of racism, including the ongoing genocide of Palestinian people. We call for an immediate end to the siege against and blockade of Gaza. We call for the full economic, cultural and academic boycott of Israel. “Never again” must mean NEVER AGAIN FOR ANYONE!

Signed,

Survivors:

  1. Hajo Meyer, survivor of Auschwitz, The Netherlands.
  2. Henri Wajnblum, survivor and son of a victim of Auschwitz from Lodz, Poland. Lives in Belgium.
  3. Renate Bridenthal, child refugee from Hitler, granddaughter of Auschwitz victim, United States.
  4. Marianka Ehrlich Ross, survivor of Nazi ethnic cleansing in Vienna, Austria. Now lives in United States.
  5. Irena Klepfisz, child survivor from the Warsaw Ghetto, Poland. Now lives in United States.
  6. Hedy Epstein, her parents & other family members were deported to Camp de Gurs & subsequently all perished in Auschwitz. Now lives in United States.
  7. Lillian Rosengarten, survivor of the Nazi Holocaust, United States.
  8. Suzanne Weiss, survived in hiding in France, and daughter of a mother who was murdered in Auschwitz. Now lives in Canada.
  9. H. Richard Leuchtag, survivor, United States.
  10. Ervin Somogyi, survivor and son of survivors, United States.
  11. Ilse Hadda, survivor on Kindertransport to England. Now lives in United States.
  12. Jacques Glaser, survivor, France.
  13. Eva Naylor, surivor, New Zealand.
  14. Suzanne Ross, child refugee from Nazi occupation in Belgium, two thirds of family perished in the Lodz Ghetto, in Auschwitz, and other Camps, United States.
  15. Bernard Swierszcz, Polish survivor, lost relatives in Majdanek concentration camp. Now lives in the United States.
  16. Joseph Klinkov, hidden child in Poland. Lives in the United States.
  17. Nicole Milner, survivor from Belgium. Now lives in United States.
  18. Hedi Saraf, child survivor and daughter of survivor of Dachau, United States.
  19. Michael Rice, child survivor, son and grandson of survivor, aunt and cousin murderd, ALL 14 remaining Jewish children in my Dutch boarding school were murdered in concentration camps, United States.
  20. Barbara Roose, survivor from Germany, half-sister killed in Auschwitz, United States.
  21. Sonia Herzbrun, survivor of Nazi genocide, France.
  22. Ivan Huber, survivor with my parents, but 3 of 4 grandparents murdered, United States.
  23. Altman Janina, survivor of Janowski concentration camp, Lvov. Lives in Israel.
  24. Leibu Strul Zalman, survivor from Vaslui Romania. Lives in Jerusalem, Palestine.
  25. Miriam Almeleh, survivor, United States.
  26. George Bartenieff, child survivor from Germany and son of survivors, United States.
  27. Margarete Liebstaedter, survivor, hidden by Christian people in Holland. Lives in Belgium.
  28. Edith Bell, survivor of Westerbork, Theresienstadt, Auschwitz and Kurzbach. Lives in United States.
  29. Janine Euvrard, survivor, France.
  30. Harry Halbreich, survivor, Germany.
  31. Ruth Kupferschmidt, survivor, spent five years hiding, The Netherlands.
  32. Annette Herskovits, hidden child and daughter of victims deported to Auschwitz from France. Lives in the United States.
  33. Felicia Langer, survivor from Germany. Lives in Germany.
  34. Moshe Langer, survivor from Germany, Moshe survived 5 concentration camps, family members were exterminated. Lives in Germany.
  35. Adam Policzer, hidden child from Hungary. Now lives in Canada.
  36. Juliane Biro, survivor via the Kindertransport to England, daughter of survivors, niece of victims, United States.
  37. Edith Rubinstein, child refugee, granddaughter of 3 victims, many other family members were victims, Belgium.
  38. Jacques Bude, survivor, mother and father murdered in Auschwitz, Belgium.
  39. Nicole Kahn, survivor, France.
  40. Shimon Schwarzschild, survivor from Germany, United States.

Children of survivors:

  1. Liliana Kaczerginski, daughter of Vilna ghetto resistance fighter and granddaughter of murdered in Ponary woods, Lithuania. Now lives in France.
  2. Jean-Claude Meyer, son of Marcel, shot as a hostage by the Nazis, whose sister and parents died in Auschwitz. Now lives in France.
  3. Chava Finkler, daughter of survivor of Starachovice labour camp, Poland. Now lives in Canada.
  4. Micah Bazant, child of a survivor of the Nazi genocide, United States.
  5. Sylvia Schwarz, daughter and granddaughter of survivors and granddaughter of victims of the Nazi genocide, United States.
  6. Margot Goldstein, daughter and granddaughter of survivors of the Nazi genocide, United States.
  7. Ellen Schwarz Wasfi, daughter of survivors from Vienna, Austria. Now lives in United States.
  8. Lisa Kosowski, daughter of survivor and granddaughter of Auschwitz victims, United States.
  9. Daniel Strum, son of a refugee from Vienna, who, with his parents were forced to flee in 1939, his maternal grand-parents were lost, United States.
  10. Bruce Ballin, son of survivors, some relatives of parents died in camps, one relative beheaded for being in the Baum Resistance Group, United States.
  11. Rachel Duell, daughter of survivors from Germany and Poland, United States.
  12. Tom Mayer, son of survivor and grandson of victims, United States.
  13. Alex Nissen, daughter of survivors who escaped but lost family in the Holocaust, Australia.
  14. Mark Aleshnick, son of survivor who lost most of her family in Nazi genocide, United States.
  15. Prof. Haim Bresheeth, son of two survivors of Auschwitz and Bergen Belsen, London.
  16. Todd Michael Edelman, son and grandson of survivors and great-grandson of victims of the Nazi genocide in Hungary, Romania and Slovakia, United States.
  17. Tim Naylor, son of survivor, New Zealand.
  18. Victor Nepomnyashchy, son and grandson of survivors and grandson and relative of many victims, United States.
  19. Tanya Ury, daughter of parents who fled Nazi Germany, granddaughter, great granddaugher and niece of survivors and those who died in concentration camps, Germany.
  20. Rachel Giora, daughter of Polish Jews who fled Poland, Israel.
  21. Jane Hirschmann, daughter of survivors, United States.
  22. Jenny Heinz, daughter of survivor, United States.
  23. Miranda Pinch, daughter of Beate Sommer who was a Czeck refugee along with her father Ernst Sommer, UK.
  24. Elsa Auerbach, daughter of Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany, United States.
  25. Julian Clegg, son and grandson of Austrian refugees, relative of Austrian and Hungarian concentration camp victims, Taiwan.
  26. David Mizner, son of a survivor, relative of people who died in the Holocaust, United States.
  27. Jeffrey J. Westcott, son and grandson of Holocaust survivors from Germany, United States.
  28. Susan K. Jacoby, daughter of parents who were refugees from Nazi Germany, granddaughter of survivor of Buchenwald, United States.
  29. Audrey Bomse, daughter of a survivor of Nazi ethnic cleansing in Vienna, lives in United States.
  30. Daniel Gottschalk, son and grandson of refugees from the Holocaust, relative to various family members who died in the Holocaust, United States.
  31. Barbara Grossman, daughter of survivors, granddaughter of Holocaust victims, United States.
  32. Abraham Weizfeld PhD, son of survivorswho escaped Warsaw (Jewish Bundist) and Lublin ghettos, Canada.
  33. David Rohrlich, son of refugees from Vienna, grandson of victim, United States.
  34. Walter Ballin, son of holocaust survivors, United States.
  35. Fritzi Ross, daughter of survivor, granddaughter of Dachau survivor Hugo Rosenbaum, great-granddaughter and great-niece of victims, United States.
  36. Reuben Roth, son of survivors who fled from Poland in 1939, Canada.
  37. Tony Iltis, father fled from Czechoslovakia and grandmother murdered in Auschwitz, Australia.
  38. Anne Hudes, daughter and granddaughter of survivors from Vienna, Austria, great-granddaughter of victims who perished in Auschwitz, United States.
  39. Mateo Nube, son of survivor from Berlin, Germany. Lives in United States.
  40. John Mifsud, son of survivors from Malta, United States.
  41. Mike Okrent, son of two holocaust / concentration camp survivors, United States.
  42. Susan Bailey, daughter of survivor and niece of victims, UK.
  43. Brenda Lewis, child of Kindertransport survivor, parent’s family died in Auschwitz and Terezin. Lives in Canada.
  44. Patricia Rincon-Mautner, daughter of survivor and granddaughter of survivor, Colombia.
  45. Barak Michèle, daughter and grand-daughter of a survivor, many members of family were killed in Auschwitz or Bessarabia. Lives in Germany.
  46. Jessica Blatt, daughter of child refugee survivor, both grandparents’ entire families killed in Poland. Lives in United States
  47. Maia Ettinger, daughter & granddaughter of survivors, United States.
  48. Ammiel Alcalay, child of survivors from then Yugoslavia. Lives in United States.
  49. Julie Deborah Kosowski, daughter of hidden child survivor, grandparents did not return from Auschwitz, United States.
  50. Julia Shpirt, daughter of survivor, United States.
  51. Ruben Rosenberg Colorni, grandson and son of survivors, The Netherlands.
  52. Victor Ginsburgh, son of survivors, Belgium.
  53. Arianne Sved, daughter of a survivor and granddaughter of victim, Spain.
  54. Rolf Verleger, son of survivors, father survived Auschwitz, mother survived deportation from Berlin to Estonia, other family did not survive. Lives in Germany.
  55. Euvrard Janine, daughter of survivors, France.
  56. H. Fleishon, daughter of survivors, United States.
  57. Barbara Meyer, daughter of survivor in Polish concentration camps. Lives in Italy.
  58. Susan Heuman, child of survivors and granddaughter of two grandparents murdered in a forest in Minsk. Lives in United States.
  59. Rami Heled, son of survivors, all grandparents and family killed by the Germans in Treblinka, Oswiecim and Russia. Lives in Israel.
  60. Eitan Altman, son of survivor, France.
  61. Jorge Sved, son of survivor and grandson of victim, United Kingdom
  62. Maria Kruczkowska, daughter of Lea Horowicz who survived the holocaust in Poland. Lives in Poland.
  63. Sarah Lanzman, daughter of survivor of Auschwitz, United States.
  64. Cheryl W, daughter, granddaughter and nieces of survivors, grandfather was a member of the Dutch Underground (Eindhoven). Lives in Australia.
  65. Chris Holmquist, son of survivor, UK.
  66. Beverly Stuart, daughter and granddaughter of survivors from Romania and Poland. Lives in United States.
  67. Peter Truskier, son and grandson of survivors, United States.
  68. Karen Bermann, daughter of a child refugee from Vienna. Lives in United States.
  69. Rebecca Weston, daughter and granddaughter of survivor, Spain.
  70. Prof. Yosefa Loshitzky, daughter of Holocaust survivors, London, UK.
  71. Marion Geller, daughter and granddaughter of those who escaped, great-granddaughter and relative of many who died in the camps, UK.
  72. Susan Slyomovics, daughter and granddaughter of survivors of Auschwitz, Plaszow, Markleeberg and Ghetto Mateszalka, United States.
  73. Helga Fischer Mankovitz, daughter, niece and cousin of refugees who fled from Austria, niece of victim who perished, Canada.
  74. Michael Wischnia, son of survivors and relative of many who perished, United States.
  75. Arthur Graaff, son of decorated Dutch resistance member and nazi victim, The Netherlands.
  76. Yael Kahn, daughter of survivors who escaped Nazi Germany, many relatives that perished, UK.
  77. Pierre Stambul, son of French resistance fighters, father deported to Buchenwalk, grandparents disapeared in Bessarabia, France.
  78. Georges Gumpel, son of a deportee who died at Melk, Austria (subcamp of Mauthausen), France.
  79. Emma Kronberg, daughter of survivor Buchenwald, United States.
  80. Hannah Schwarzschild, daughter of a refugee who escaped Nazi Germany after experiencing Kristallnacht, United States.
  81. Rubin Kantorovich, son of a survivor, Canada.
  82. Daniele Armaleo, son of German refugee, grandparents perished in Theresienstadt, United States.
  83. Aminda Stern Baird, daughter of survivor, United States.
  84. Ana Policzer, daughter of hidden child, granddaughter of victim, niece/grandniece of four victims and two survivors, Canada.
  85. Sara Castaldo, daughter of survivors, United States.
  86. Pablo Policzer, son of a survivor, Canada.
  87. Gail Nestel, daughter of survivors who lost brothers, sisters, parents and cousins, Canada.
  88. Elizabeth Heineman, daughter and niece of unaccompanied child refugees, granddaughter of survivors, great-granddaughter and grand-niece of victims, United States.
  89. Lainie Magidsohn, daughter of child survivor and numerous other relatives from Czestochowa, Poland. Lives in Canada.
  90. Doris Gelbman, daughter and granddaughter of survivors, granddaughter and niece of many who perished, United States.
  91. Erna Lund, daughter of survivor, Norway.
  92. Rayah Feldman, daughter of refugees, granddaughter and niece of victims and survivors, UK.
  93. Hadas Rivera-Weiss, daughter of survivors from Hungary, mother Ruchel Weiss née Abramovich and father Shaya Weiss, United States.
  94. Pedro Tabensky, son of survivor of the Budapest Ghetto, South Africa.
  95. Allan Kolski Horwitz, son of a survivor; descendant of many, many victims, South Africa.
  96. Monique Mojica, child of survivor, relative to many victims murdered in Auschwitz. Canada.
  97. Mike Brecher, son of a Kindertransport survivor and grandson of two who did not survive. UK.
  98. Nomi Yah Gardiner, daughter and granddaughter of survivors, relative of victims, United States.
  99. Marianne van Leeuw Koplewicz, daughter of deported parents, grand-daughter and niece of victims, Belgium.
  100. Alfred Gluecksmann, son of survivors of Germany, United States.
  101. Smadar Carmon, daughter of survivor, Canada.

Grandchildren of survivors

  1. Raphael Cohen, grandson of Jewish survivors of the Nazi genocide, United States.
  2. Emma Rubin, granddaughter of a survivor of the Nazi genocide, United States.
  3. Alex Safron, grandson of a survivor of the Nazi genocide, United States.
  4. Danielle Feris, grandchild of a Polish grandmother whose whole family died in the Nazi Holocaust, United States.
  5. Jesse Strauss, grandson of Polish survivors of the Nazi genocide, United States.
  6. Anna Baltzer, granddaughter of survivors whose family members perished in Auschwitz (others were members of the Belgian Resistance), United States.
  7. Abigail Harms, granddaughter of Holocaust survivor from Austria, Now lives in United States.
  8. Tessa Strauss, granddaughter of Polish Jewish survivors of the Nazi genocide, United States.
  9. Caroline Picker, granddaughter of survivors of the Nazi genocide, United States.
  10. Amalle Dublon, grandchild and great-grandchild of survivors of the Nazi holocaust, United States.
  11. Antonie Kaufmann Churg, 3rd cousin of Ann Frank and grand-daughter of NON-survivors, United States.
  12. Aliza Shvarts, granddaughter of survivors, United States.
  13. Linda Mamoun, granddaughter of survivors, United States.
  14. Abby Okrent, granddaughter of survivors of the Auschwitz, Dachau, Stuttgart, and the Lodz Ghetto, United States.
  15. Ted Auerbach, grandson of survivor whose whole family died in the Holocaust, United States.
  16. Beth Bruch, grandchild of German Jews who fled to US and great-grandchild of Nazi holocaust survivor, United States.
  17. Bob Wilson, grandson of a survivor, United States.
  18. Katharine Wallerstein, granddaughter of survivors and relative of many who perished, United States.
  19. Sylvia Finzi, granddaughter and niece of Holocaust victims murdered in Auschwitz, London.
  20. Esteban Schmelz, grandson of KZ-Theresienstadt victim, Mexico City.
  21. Françoise Basch, grand daughter of Victor and Ilona Basch murdered by the Gestapo and the French Milice, France.
  22. Gabriel Alkon, grandson of Holocaust survivors, Untied States.
  23. Nirit Ben-Ari, grandchild of Polish grandparents from both sides whose entire family was killed in the Nazi Holocaust, United States.
  24. Heike Schotten, granddaughter of refugees from Nazi Germany who escaped the genocide, United States.
  25. Ike af Carlstèn, grandson of survivor, Norway.
  26. Elias Lazarus, grandson of Holocaust refugees from Dresden, United States and Australia.
  27. Laura Mandelberg, granddaughter of Holocaust survivors, United States.
  28. Josh Ruebner, grandson of Nazi Holocaust survivors, United States.
  29. Shirley Feldman, granddaughter of survivors, United States.
  30. Nuno Cesar Ferreira, grandson of survivor, Brazil.
  31. Andrea Land, granddaugher of survivors who fled programs in Poland, all European relatives died in German and Polish concentration camps, United States.
  32. Sarah Goldman, granddaughter of survivors of the Nazi genocide, United States.
  33. Baruch Wolski, grandson of survivors, Austria.
  34. Frank Amahran, grandson of survivor, United States.
  35. Eve Spangler, granddaughter of Holocaust NON-survivor, United States.
  36. Gil Medovoy, grandchild of Fela Hornstein who lost her enitre family in Poland during the Nazi genocide, United States.
  37. Michael Hoffman, grandson of survivors, rest of family killed in Poland during Holocaust, live in El Salvador.
  38. Sarah Hogarth, granddaughter of a survivor whose entire family was killed at Auschwitz, United States.
  39. Tibby Brooks, granddaughter, niece, and cousin of victims of Nazis in Ukraine. Lives in United States.
  40. Dan Berger, grandson of survivor, United States.
  41. Dani Baurer, granddaughter of Baruch Pollack, survivor of Auschwitz. Lives in United States.
  42. Talia Baurer, granddaughter of a survivor, United States.
  43. Evan Cofsky, grandson of survivor, UK.
  44. Annie Sicherman, granddaughter of survivors, United States.
  45. Anna Heyman, granddaughter of survivors, UK.
  46. Maya Ober, granddaughter of survivor and relative of deceased in Teresienstadt and Auschwitz, Tel Aviv.
  47. Anne Haan, granddaughter of Joseph Slagter, survivor of Auschwitz. Lives in The Netherlands.
  48. Oliver Ginsberg, grandson of victim, Germany.
  49. Alexia Zdral, granddaughter of Polish survivors, United States.
  50. Mitchel Bollag, grandson of Stanislaus Eisner, who was living in Czechoslovakia before being sent to a concentration camp. United States.
  51. Vivienne Porzsolt, granddaughter of victims of Nazi genocide, Australia.
  52. Lisa Nessan, granddaughter of survivors, United States.
  53. Kally Alexandrou, granddaughter of survivors, Australia.
  54. Laura Ostrow, granddaughter of survivors, United States
  55. Anette Jacobson, granddaughter of relatives killed, town of Kamen Kashirsk, Poland. Lives in United States.
  56. Tamar Yaron (Teresa Werner), granddaughter and niece of victims of the Nazi genocide in Poland, Israel.
  57. Antonio Roman-Alcalá, grandson of survivor, United States.
  58. Jeremy Luban, grandson of survivor, United States.
  59. Heather West, granddaughter of survivors and relative of other victims, United States.
  60. Jeff Ethan Au Green, grandson of survivor who escaped from a Nazi work camp and hid in the Polish-Ukranian forest, United States.
  61. Johanna Haan, daughter and granddaughter of victims in the Netherlands. Lives in the Netherlands.
  62. Aron Ben Miriam, son of and nephew of survivors from Auschwitz, Bergen-Belsen, Salzwedel, Lodz ghetto. Lives in United States.
  63. Noa Shaindlinger, granddaughter of four holocaust survivors, Canada.
  64. Merilyn Moos, granddaughter, cousin and niece murdered victims, UK.
  65. Ruth Tenne, granddaughter and relative of those who perished in Warsaw Ghetto, London.
  66. Craig Berman, grandson of Holocaust survivors, UK.
  67. Nell Hirschmann-Levy, granddaughter of survivors from Germany. Lives in United States.
  68. Osha Neumann, grandson of Gertrud Neumann who died in Theresienstadt. Lives in United States.
  69. Georg Frankl, Grandson of survivor Ernst-Immo Frankl who survived German work camp. Lives in Germany.
  70. Julian Drix, grandson of two survivors from Poland, including survivor and escapee from liquidated Janowska concentration camp in Lwow, Poland. Lives in United States.
  71. Katrina Mayer, grandson and relative of victims, UK.
  72. Avigail Abarbanel, granddaughter of survivors, Scotland.
  73. Denni Turp, granddaughter of Michael Prooth, survivor, UK.
  74. Fenya Fischler, granddaughter of survivors, UK.
  75. Yakira Teitel, granddaughter of German Jewish refugees, great-granddaughter of survivor, United States.
  76. Susan Koppelman, granddaughter of survivor, United States
  77. Hana Umeda, granddaughter of survivor, Warsaw.
  78. Jordan Silverstein, grandson of two survivors, Canada.
  79. Daniela Petuchowski, granddaughter of survivors, United States.
  80. Aaron Lerner, grandson of survivors, United States.
  81. Judith Bernstein, granddaughter of Holocaust victims in Auschwitz, Germany.
  82. Samantha Wischnia, granddaughter and great niece of survivors from Poland, United States.
  83. Elizabeth Wischnia, granddaughter and grand niece of three holocaust survivors, great aunt worked for Schindler, United States.
  84. Daniel Waterman, grandson of survivor, The Netherlands.
  85. Elana Baurer, granddaughter of survivor, United States.
  86. Pablo Roman-Alcala, grandson of participant in the kindertransport and survivor, Germany.
  87. Karine Abdel Malek, grandchild of survivor, Henri Waisman, Morocco.
  88. Elana Baurer, granddaughter of survivor, United States.
  89. Lillian Brown, granddaughter of survivor, United States.
  90. Devin Cahn, grandson of survivors, United States.
  91. Daniel Lévyne, grandson of a deportee, France.
  92. Emilie Ferreira, granddaughter of survivors, Switzerland.
  93. Chaim Neslen, grandchild of many victims and friend of many survivors, UK.
  94. Ann Jungmann, granddaughter to three victims, UK.
  95. Ellie Schling, granddaughter of a survivor, UK.
  96. Danny Katch, grandson of a survivor, United States.
  97. Karen Pomer, granddaughter of Henri B. van Leeuwen, member of Dutch resistance and survivor of Bergen Belsen, United States.
  98. Gilda Mitchell Katz, granddaughter of survivors, uncle and aunt killed In Dombrova, Canada.
  99. Dana Newfield, granddaughter of survivor and relative of many murdered, United States.
  100. Ilana Guslits, granddaughter of two Polish survivors, Canada.
  101. Gerald Coles-Kolsky, grandson of victims in Poland and France, United States.
  102. Lesley Swain, granddaughter and cousin of survivors, UK.
  103. Myera Waese, granddaughter of survivors of Bergen Belsen, Canada.
  104. Ronni Seidman, grandchild of survivors. United States.
  105. Mike Shatzkin, grandchild of survivors, some family members murdered and some who died in the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. United States.
  106. Nance Shatzkin, grandchild of survivors, some family members murdered and some who died in the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. United States.
  107. Karen Shatzkin, grandchild of survivors, some family members murdered and some who died in the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. United States.
  108. Myriam Burger, granddaughter of survivor. United States.
  109. Andre Burger, grandson of survivor Myriam Cohn, great-grandson of Sylvia Cohn and great-nephew of Esther Lore Cohn, both murdered in Auschwitz, United States.
  110. Sara Ayech, granddaughter of Gisela and Max Roth, survivors who lost many family members, UK.
  111. Monika Vykoukal, granddaughter of survivor, France.
  112. Patricia Reinheimer, grandaugther of survivors, Brazil.
  113. Nancy Patchell, granddaughter of resistance fighters, grandfather was caught and died in a concentration camp, Canada.
  114. Jaclyn Pryor, granddaughter of survivors from Czestochowa Ghetto, Poland; great-grandchild, niece, and cousin to many who perished, United States.
  115. Steven Rosenthal, grandson of survivor, Chile.
  116. Alfredo Hilt, grandson of victim, Germany.
  117. Arturo Desimone, grandson of a survivor of the ghetto of Çzestochowa, The Netherlands.
  118. Lazer Lederhendler, grandson of victims whose seven siblings also perished in the Warsaw Ghetto and Treblinka. Lives in Canada.
See full list of signatories.

A Truly Ugly and Despicable Act: JUSTIFYING and COLLABORATING WITH Israel's Genocidal Attacks on Palestinians in the Name of "Peace and Justice":

Commitment to Peace and Justice

Statement from Creative Community for Peace and Friends

We, the undersigned, are saddened by the devastating loss of life endured by Israelis and Palestinians in Gaza. We are pained by the suffering on both sides of the conflict and hope for a solution that brings peace to the region.

While we stand firm in our commitment to peace and justice, we must also stand firm against ideologies of hatred and genocide which are reflected in Hamas' charter, Article 7 of which reads, “There is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him!” The son of a Hamas founder has also commented about the true nature of Hamas.

Hamas cannot be allowed to rain rockets on Israeli cities, nor can it be allowed to hold its own people hostage. Hospitals are for healing, not for hiding weapons. Schools are for learning, not for launching missiles. Children are our hope, not our human shields.

We join together in support of the democratic values we all cherish and in the hope that the healing and transformative power of the arts can be used to build bridges of peace.

Orly Adelson
Marty Adelstein
Dan Adler
Lou Adler
Michael Adler
Dan Aloni
Avi Arad
Tom Arnold
Jeff Astrof
Craig Balsam
Gary Barber
Roseanne Barr
Jason Barrett
Elana Barry
Jonathan Baruch
Aaron Bay-Schuck
Lainie Sorkin Becky
Lawrence Bender
Peter Benedek
Steven Bensusan
Raphael Berko
Adam Berkowitz
Greg Berlanti
Jordan Berliant
Mayim Bialik
Joshua P Binder
Todd Black
Michael Borkow
David Boxerbaum
Scooter Braun
Dan Brecher
Eric Brooks
David Broza
Dan Bucatinsky
Naomi Bulochnikov
David Byrnes
David Caspe
Omri Casspi
Josh Charles
Liza Chasin
Emmanuelle Chriqui
Cynthia Cidre
Neil Cloud
Ayala Cohen
Etan Cohen
Joe Cohen
Jim Cooperman
Charlie Corwin
Marc Dauer
Robert Davi
Craig David
Douglas J Davis
Stephen Davis
Donald De Line
Matt DelPiano
Josh Deutsch
Kurt Deutsch
David Diamond
Leonard Dick
David Draiman
Minnie Driver
Jack Dytman
Lee Eisenberg
Doug Ellin
Diane English
Dan Erlij
Ron Fair
Erik Feig
Dave Feldman
James Feldman
Patti Felker
Erica Forster
Gary Foster
Doug Frank
Bryan J. Freedman
Geordie E. Frey
Michael Fricklas
Robert Fried
William Friedkin
Daryl Friedman
Rob Friedman
Ronald Friedman
David Gardner
Jeremy Garelick
Alan M. Gasmer
Ran Geffen-Lifshitz
Andrew Genger
Bob Gersh
Jody Gerson
Risa Gertner
Jami Gertz
Gary Ginsberg
David Glick
Jonathan Glickman
Michael Glouberman
Elon Gold
Evan Goldberg
Gil Goldschein
Tony Goldwyn
Nate Goodman
Howard Gordon
Mitchell Gossett
Marc Graboff
Kelsey Grammer
Trudy Green
Adam Griffin
Iris Grossman
Jay Gruska
David Guillod
Phil Hacker
J. Todd Harris
Lisa Harrison
Adi Hasak
Ned Haspel
Ken Hertz
David Hoberman
Jay Hoffman
Craig Hunegs
Andrew Hurwitz
Kathy Ireland
Neal Israel
Michael Jacobs
Bill Jacobson
Neil Jacobson
Nina Jacobson
Jonathan Jakubowicz
Patrick Joest
Declan Joyce
Nathan Kahane
Adam Kaller
Adam Kanter
Scott Karp
Zach Katz
Ryan Kavanaugh
Ron Kenan
David Kendall
Larry Kennar
Chris Keyser
Roslyn Kind
Kevin King-Templeton
Michael Kives
Courtney Kivowitz
Patrick Knapp
Amanda Kogan
Jeff Kolodny
Barry Kotler
Steven Kram
Eric Kranzler
Brad Krevoy
Erik Kritzer
Howard Kurtzman
Rick Kurtzman
Jeff Kwatinetz
Peter Landesman
Eriq La Salle
Sherry Lansing
Estelle Lasher
Michael Lasker
Keili Lefkovitz
Carol Leifer
Avi Lerner
Colin Lester
Ben Levine
Susan Levinson
David Levy
Shuki Levy
Linda Lichter
Josh Lieberman
Maryam Lieberman
Todd Lieberman
Jon Liebman
Jonathan Littman
David Lonner
Richard Lovett
Jon Lovitz
Charlie Lyons
Benji Madden
Joel Madden
Bill Maher
Joshua Malina
Rob Markus
Orly Marley
Ziggy Marley
Ori Marmur
Bill Masters
Barry McPherson
Brian Medavoy
Jeff Melman
Scott Melrose
Jeffrey D. Melvoin
Willie Mercer
Rina Mimoun
Kevin Misher
Michael Morales
Rob Morrow
Robert Newman
Alan Nierob
Michael Nyman
Howard T. Owens
James Packer
Scott Packman
Bar Paly
Tom Parziali
Amy Pascal
Donald S. Passman
Brett Paul
Ann Peacock
Linda Perry
Richard Plepler
Amy Powers
Rob Prinz
Trevor Rabin
Dan Rabinow
Gideon Raff
Idan Raicel
Dean Raise
Bruce M. Ramer
David Ready
Ivan Reitman
David Renzer
John Reston
Hanna Rochelle
Seth Rogen
John Rogovin
Lena Roklin
Lon Rosen
Rick Rosen
Bruce Rosenblum
Zvi Howard Rosenman
Bill Rosenthal
Phil Rosenthal
Brian Ross
Michael Rotenberg
Rob Rothman
Robert Rovner
Susan Rovner
Odeya Rush
Haim Saban
Carole Bayer Sager
Nancy Sanders
Jonathan Schenker
Mark Schiff
Steve Schnur
Dean Schramm
Jordan Schur
Robin Schwartz
Sam Schwartz
Scott Schwartz
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Adam Schweitzer
Adam Shankman
Stacey Sher
Scott Siegler
Jamie Lynn Sigler
Chris Silbermann
Ben Silverman
Sarah Silverman
Michael Simon
Martin Singer
Stacey Snider
Aaron Sorkin
Steve Spira
Susan Sprung
Sylvester Stallone
Norman Steinberg
Fisher Stevens
Gary Stiffelman
Erwin Stoff
Ken Stovitz
Gene Stupnitsky
Nick Styne
Eric Suddleson
Geoff Suddleson
Ken Suddleson
Danny Sussman
DB Sweeney
Traci Szymanski
Nina Tassler
Adam Taylor
Arn Tellem
Nancy Tellem
Mitch Tenzer
Steve Tisch
Noa Tishby
Fred D. Toczek
Michael Tolkin
Bennett Tramer
Nancy Travis
Jonathan Tropper
Matthew Velkes
Paul Wachter
Nina Wass
Avi Wasserman
Steven Weber
Bernie Weinraub
Bob Weinstein
Harvey Weinstein
Jerry Weintraub
David N. Weiss
David Weissman
Alan Wertheimer
Ron West
Nikki Wheeler
Jeff Wolman
Sharon Tal Yguado
Pete Yorn
Rick Yorn
Mosab Hassan Yousef
Rachel Zalis
David Zucker

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/354/breaking-the-male-code-sunsara-taylor-comments-en.html

Revolution #354 September 22, 2014

Sunsara Taylor: How does anybody think it's possible to out-socialize the institutions of this entire system without revolution?

September 22, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Ray Rice's violent assault on his fiancée Janay Palmer has ignited a firestorm of outrage over violence against women. Rice is a National Football League (NFL) star, who played for the Baltimore Ravens. In February a video surfaced of Rice dragging Palmer, who was lying motionless on the floor, from an elevator in Atlantic City, New Jersey. In July the NFL suspended Rice for two games. But then in early September, another video was posted showing Rice inside the elevator punching Palmer in the face, knocking her unconscious. The Ravens released Rice; he was indefinitely suspended by the NFL, and the league promised to take action around domestic violence.

But the problem is exponentially greater than that. The following video clip is of Sunsara Taylor, a writer for Revolution/revcom.us and a founder of StopPatriarchy.org, posing a question from the audience at a 2013 panel—"Breaking The Male Code: After Steubenville, A Call to Action." That panel was organized by Eve Ensler in the wake of the August 2012 gang rape of a high school student by football players in Steubenville, Ohio. (See also "Verdict in the Steubenville Rape Case: There is some justice—but there's no cause for joy—in the Steubenville verdicts," Revolution, March 21, 2013.)

Recently, in the immediate wake of the Ray Rice/NFL scandal, Sunsara Taylor's video clip has been picked up and re-blogged at many sites, and her comments remain timely today.

From "Breaking the Male Code: After Steubenville, A Call to Action"

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/354/societal-abuse-of-women-en.html

Revolution #354 September 22, 2014

Societal Abuse of Women—One Day, One Section, New York Times

September 22, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From readers

A protest in the Philippines in  2009 after the rape of a Filipina woman by a U.S. Marine. The U.S. refused to turn the rapist over to Philippine courts citing the "Visiting Forces Agreement" (VFA) which provides immunity for U.S. military personnel accused of committing rape. On the protester's arms and on the ground is written "Jail Smith" (the Marine rapist) and "Junk VFA."

Not only are women within the U.S. military subject to high levels of sexual assault, an oppressive, dominating morality promotes a culture rape wherever the U.S. military goes. Above: A protest in the Philippines in  2009 after the rape of a Filipina woman by a U.S. Marine. The U.S. refused to turn the rapist over to Philippine courts citing the "Visiting Forces Agreement" (VFA) which provides immunity for U.S. military personnel accused of committing rape. On the protester's arms and on the ground is written "Jail Smith" (the Marine rapist) and "Junk VFA." Photo: AP

You think violence and brutality against women and patriarchal brutality against children is a National Football League (NFL) issue? Or a problem concentrated among Black athletes? Nobody should get a pass on brutality against women, but look around! We are just now leafing through a single section of today’s New York Times (9/20/14). There is a front page story on the NFL’s “blind spot” for “domestic violence.” No shit.

But jump ahead a few pages.

In Florida, a 28-year-old woman—who for six years tried to flee from or get legal protection from her father who brutalized and threatened her—was killed—according to police by her father who not only killed her, but her six children, and then himself. Agencies supposedly responsible for protecting women and children had piles of complaints and pleas from the victim on their desks when she died.

Next page: an article on how women in the U.S. Forest Service filed a legal complaint that they suffered sexual abuse from male co-workers and that top agency officials not only failed to do anything about it, but retaliated against them for reporting the assaults. One of the plaintiffs alleges that her supervisor put her in a chokehold and tried to rape her. After filing the complaint, she was fired. The Forest Service is—according to the Times—“reviewing the complaints.”

A few pages later, a headline: “Science’s Sexual Assault Problem.” The article documents that 26 percent of female scientists surveyed had been sexually assaulted during field work. The author of the piece notes that such assaults are usually co-workers and that a survey revealed that “perpetrators were predominantly senior to them professionally within the research team.”

And we’re not even addressing the situation on U.S. campuses, where the culture of pornification, an ethos of male right, and the legal system have created a situation where one in five women will be raped or sexually assaulted while in college.

TAKE A RADICAL STEP
INTO THE FUTURE...

This Constitution (Draft Proposal) is written with the future in mind. It is intended to set forth a basic model, and fundamental principles and guidelines, for the nature and functioning of a vastly different society and government than now exists: the New Socialist Republic in North America, a socialist state which would embody, institutionalize and promote radically different relations and values among people; a socialist state whose final and fundamental aim would be to achieve, together with the revolutionary struggle throughout the world, the emancipation of humanity as a whole and the opening of a whole new epoch in human history–communism–with the final abolition of all exploitative and oppressive relations among human beings and the destructive antagonistic conflicts to which these relations give rise.

Buy online at revcom.us/socialistconstitution or at amazon (search for: Constitution-Socialist-Republic-America)

–OR–

Send money orders or checks of $8 plus $2.78 shipping/handling/tax to: RCP Publications, PO Box 3486, Merchandise Mart, Chicago, IL 60654

Now Barack Obama has a YouTube up —joined by people who probably mean well—saying “It’s on us” to stop violence against women. Maybe someone should ask: who the fuck is the commander-in-chief of what is arguably the most dangerous place for a woman in the United States —the military—to be talking about violence against women? A 2013 study by the Pentagon found that it had received 5,061 reports of sexual assault involving troops (overwhelmingly by men against women, both in the military and civilian) but over half of women in the military say they would not bring charges of sexual assault for fear of retaliation. And of the thousands of reported assault cases, only 484 went to trial, 376 resulted in convictions, and 90 percent of the assault victims were eventually involuntarily discharged.

And beyond that, Obama is the president of the country that sits on top of a WORLD of women’s oppression.

EVERY woman in this society—and around the world—lives in the shadow of the threat of violence. You can’t “choose” your way out of this. And as much as we need to challenge the degradation of women—and unite with people who do—violence and brutality against women is so deeply embedded in every aspect of the culture of this society that trying to solve this piece-by-piece is like trying to dry up the ocean with an eyedropper.

That does not mean we have to live like this! Men aren’t born with a gene or an inherent desire to brutalize women. We want to direct readers attention to the piece “Reflections on ‘#YesAllWomen,’” by T. Redtree and in particular this story the author shares:

“There is another radically different way society could be. As a young high school student in the early 1970s, I had the opportunity to hear a speaker talk about having been to revolutionary China, where she described that women could walk the streets at night without fear of being assaulted. I have to admit I just could not believe it. I had to do my research, which confirmed that many others who had traveled there also found this to be true. But more than that I realized that I just couldn’t even wrap my head around what that would even feel like. Now that capitalism has been restored in China—it has the world’s fastest growing pornography market. But I learned at that time that the subordination of women was not human nature—it was the nature of the system. I, like tens of thousands of others, began to ask the question: What kind of a system is this and why should anyone accept this as the best possible way things could be?

“We Need A Revolution! We need a new and radically different state power! To learn much more about that, a must read is Break ALL the Chains, Bob Avakian on the Emancipation of Women and the Communist Revolution, now available at revcom.us.”

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/354/the-nba-marketing-the minstrel-show-and-serving-the-big-gangsters-en.html

Revolution #354 September 22, 2014

Listen to/Share this talk by Bob Avakian:

The NBA: Marketing the Minstrel Show and Serving the Big Gangsters

September 22, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling tells a woman friend not to bring Black people to games. Mark Cuban, Dallas Mavericks owner, says, "If I see a Black kid in a hoodie, and it's late at night, I'm walking to the other side of the street." Atlanta Hawks owner Bruce Levenson sends an email to fellow team officials complaining that the large number of Black fans at Hawks home games, along with too many Black cheerleaders, hip hop music playing in the arena, etc., were scaring away white fans. What is the NBA all about? Listen to Bob Avakian's talk, "The NBA: Marketing the Minstrel Show and Serving the Big Gangsters." And share it! Track 1, Track 2.

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/354/tenured-professor-fired-from-university-of-illinois-en.html

Revolution #354 September 22, 2014

 

University of Illinois Rescinds Professor's Appointment
Why? For Daring to Criticize Israeli War Crimes!

September 22, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From a reader:

In early August Professor Steven Salaita was set to join the faculty at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) as a tenured professor in the American Indian Studies Program. Salaita had been a professor at Virginia Tech University and written a number of well-regarded scholarly books and articles on the situation facing indigenous peoples. Based on this track record, UIUC had sought him out and his appointment was overwhelmingly approved in a vote by the American Indian Studies Program there.

But on August 1, before he had even set foot on the Urbana-Champaign campus, Salaita was notified by UIUC’s Chancellor that she wouldn’t be completing the final step (normally a formality) of bringing his appointment before the university’s Board of Trustees, and so he had no job.

The university initially acted like rescinding Salaita’s job was merely an administrative decision. But it’s come to light—through Freedom of Information requests and leaked university emails—that Salaita was fired because he joined thousands of people worldwide who took a morally principled stand and condemned the war crimes committed by Israel during its July-August onslaught against Gaza—an onslaught that killed over 2,200 people, a large number of them women and children, thanks in part to Israel’s deliberate targeting of schools, hospitals and refugee camps. Salaita had sent numerous messages on Twitter condemning these crimes. He is also the author of a number of books and scholarly work on the history of Israel and its ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people and has been a regular contributor to the pro-Palestinian website “Electronic Intifada.”

A leaked email to faculty written by UIUC Chancellor Phyllis Wise about the firing of Salaita made the statement that “What we cannot and will not tolerate at the University of Illinois are personal and disrespectful words or actions that demean and abuse either viewpoints themselves or those who express them.”

These are deliberate lies aimed at covering up the fact that the university—supposedly a bastion of free speech, critical thinking, and the search for truth—is suppressing, censoring, and punishing scholars who expose the crimes of Israel (and in the process, point to the predatory role played by the U.S. in the Middle East). First, there is no evidence that Salaita made any kind of insults or threats against any person whatsoever. What he did do, and correctly, was to passionately call out the war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by Israel and to vigorously challenge all those who either endorse those crimes or remain silent in the face of them.

Secondly, this charge by the university honchos echoes what has been identified as a systematic campaign by pro-Israel Zionist groups in the U.S., such as the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), to target academics. In letters to their branches and to other university administrators around the country, ADL warns that those educators and scholars who speak out against the crimes of the state of Israel are disruptive of campus “civility.” This is essentially the same charge made against Professor Norman Finkelstein, who in 2007 was denied tenure at DePaul University in Chicago because of his forthright exposure of the structure of Israeli and Zionist oppression of the Palestinians.

And here’s the most essential thing: When these utterly spurious and unfair charges against Professor Salaita were initiated by forces that are uncritical supporters of Israel’s crimes, rather than stepping in to uphold supposed principles of academic freedom, rejecting the charges, and defending Professor Salaita, the university powers-that-be enforced the witch hunt. And that has been a repeated pattern when Zionists wage these kinds of attacks on academics. This is not essentially because Zionists have undue influence in academia. Criticism of Israel is all-but-banned in higher education because of the deep linkages between the interests of the U.S. empire and the state of Israel.

But the outrage of the firing of Steven Salaita has not gone unchallenged. Over the last month, a boycott by academics against UIUC has been growing. Thousands of educators have signed various statements in which they pledge not to visit the UIUC campus, or to refuse to participate in seminars and in the university’s tenure review process, or to refuse to accept visiting scholar positions, until the job offer to Salaita is restored.

At a September 9 press conference during a University Day of Action to protest his firing, Salaita said:

As hard as this situation is on me personally, the danger of the university’s decision has farther-reaching implications. Universities are meant to be cauldrons of critical thinking; they are meant to foster creative inquiry and, when at their best, challenge political, economic or social orthodoxy. Tenure, a concept that is over 100 years old, is supposed to be an ironclad guarantee that university officials respect these ideals and do not succumb to financial pressure or political expediency by silencing controversial or unpopular views." (Democracy Now!, September 10)

Steven Salaita and other academics and public figures like him who come under fire for opposing the U.S.-backed Israeli murder, ethnic cleansing, and occupation of the Palestinian people, must be supported and defended. This is crucial not only in terms of opposing U.S.-backed Israeli crimes against the peoples of the region, but also to prevent the suppression of dissent and critical thinking on university campuses and in society more broadly.

 


 

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Revolution #354 September 22, 2014

From A World to Win News Service

The aims behind the U.S.'s new war in the Middle East

September 22, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

15 September 2014. A World to Win News Service. President George W. Bush took the 11 September 2001 attack on the World Trade Center as an opportunity to prove his country's military invincibility. On the eve of the invasion of Iraq in 2003, he eagerly welcomed the prospect of war, crying, "Bring it on!"—unable to foresee that after nine years of occupation the U.S. would still have failed to achieve its aims, a consolidation of its hold on the Middle East.

The mood was different on 11 September this year when Barack Obama announced a new U.S.-led war in Iraq. This time it was the Islamists effectively crying "bring it on" through the beheadings that signal the determination of the Islamic State (also known as ISIS, ISIL, and Daesh) to raise its black flag in direct opposition to the U.S. Stars and Stripes and its main junior partner, the UK [British] Union Jack.

This time there was no question of the kind of "shock and awe" blitzkrieg that Bush promised would lead to quick and easy victory. Instead, the Obama administration itself seems in shock, forced to display and deploy its military might in what is recognized as a leap into the unknown where it has no good options.

Yet even understanding, to some extent, the risks involved this time, and initially admitting that the U.S. had no real strategy, Obama launched this new war anyway. There was little choice: Compared to al-Qaeda's attacks on what Obama, like Bush, calls "the homeland," today the IS army is a far greater challenge to the present configuration of the Middle East and the kind of reconfiguration of that region that would suit the interests of the American empire.

Judging by Obama's speech, the plan is to first start bombing and shooting and then see what can be done. His new, hastily concocted four-part "strategy" is more a wish than a plan.

He said that the U.S. goal is to "degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL." His chief of staff put it slightly differently: "Success looks like an ISIL that no longer threatens our friends in the region, no longer threatens the United States, an ISIL that can't accumulate followers or threaten Muslims in Syria, Iraq or otherwise."

Other observers have pointed out that weakening or even destroying an enemy army is not usually considered a definition of a war's political goals, which comprise not only what is to be defeated but what this defeat is supposed to accomplish. In this case, the emphasis seems more on "degrading" – containing and weakening – the IS than on eliminating Islamic fundamentalism, let alone defining how the U.S. and its allies hope to deal with the economic, social, and political conditions that account for the spectacular rise of the IS and jihadi Islam in general.

Obama announced "a steady, relentless effort to take out [the IS] wherever they exist, using our air power and our support for partner forces on the ground," adding, "This strategy of taking out terrorists who threaten us, while supporting partners on the front lines, is one that we have successfully followed in Yemen and Somalia for years."

"For years" might be a realistic prediction of the duration of Obama's new war, but all that this "strategy" has been able to do in Yemen and Somalia is to keep the Islamists from triumphing, so far, and not even decisively "degrading" their forces. Far from any "containment," Islamic fundamentalism has grown and spread exponentially.

The U.S. seems forced to accept the risks because the IS has become the most concentrated and aggressive threat to its domination of the Middle East and beyond. But it is the perpetuation of that domination, and not the IS itself or the disaster it represents for the region's peoples, that defines Washington's basic war aims. Issues like how the U.S. intends to carry that off, or whether or not it is even possible, should not distract from the more basic question: what the U.S. needs to accomplish as it attempts to work through the contradictions and complexities that made it reluctant to enter into a frontal conflict with the IS in the first place. After all, if Islamic fundamentalism in and of itself were the U.S.'s main concern, and not regional domination, it would not have toppled Saddam Hussein and targeted [Syria's] Bashar al-Assad.

Whatever convergence of interests there may now be between the U.S. and the Syrian and Iranian regimes, the factors that brought the U.S. to conspire against and threaten them have not disappeared. Washington will probably continue seeking to achieve its goals, such as bringing about splits and favourable realignments in the ruling classes in those countries, under changing conditions and in view of its overall interests in the region.

The "elephant in the room" is Israel, an American asset that is more indispensable than ever and yet represents a contradiction for the U.S. as it seeks Middle Eastern allies for the Gaza-fication of Iraq and the replacement of Assad's barrel bombs against Sunni communities with U.S. drones and bombers. U.S. Secretary of State Kerry ordered the Egyptian regime to get Al Azar, the Sunni world's highest religious institution, to bless the coalition with Israel's protector, but there is no guarantee that this won't just discredit those old-order authorities and the regimes that need those religious credentials, and help the jihadi drive for a new religious and political order. The U.S. may feel it has to accept the risk of greater instability and try to pull Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Algeria, and the Gulf monarchies into this coalition anyway, not only because of Washington's dire short-term need to hit back at the IS but also because the jihadi Islamism that the IS represents is already a great danger to all these U.S.-dependent states.

Obama's new war amounts to a confession that the status quo is not an option. In this sense, his government is not so far from the Bush administration's conception of the need to "drain the swamp that produces mosquitoes" (jihadis), a project for the reconfiguration of the Middle East that Bush tried to launch with the 2003 invasion of Iraq, with disastrous consequences, including the rise of the IS.

The publicly announced plans and goals of the U.S. and its allies (the former and still would-be colonial powers, the UK and France) surely don't represent the whole of their thinking and objectives. But they are enough to give a glimpse of the horrors they have in store for the people of Iraq, Syria, and maybe more widely.

They intend to begin with a stepped-up air campaign – the U.S. has already launched more than 150 drone and other strikes, and France has its Rafale combat planes in Iraqi skies seeking targets. Since the IS has become entrenched in medium and large cities such as Raqqa in Syria, and Tikrit, Haditha, Fallujah, and Mosul (population almost two million) in Iraq, this makes it all the more likely that many civilians will be killed.

The second component of their strategy is to bolster the peshmerga of the Kurdish Regional Government, which abandoned the Yazidis, Turkomans, and Assyrians to the IS and instead concentrated on grabbing oil-rich Kirkuk from the central government. But even protecting the Kurds is not a U.S. war aim. For the most part the U.S. and its allies are not giving them heavy weaponry, which would displease Turkey, and they could end up as cannon fodder in the bigger game in Iraq and the region. Protection of religious and ethnic minorities has long been an utterly false pretext for colonial and neocolonial intervention.

Obama's "partner" in Baghdad, the third component, is Haider al-Abadi, the new U.S.-installed Prime Minister who replaced the old U.S.-installed (and then discarded) Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki. Abadi declared that his armed forces will no longer carry out "indiscriminate shelling" as they have been doing in Fallujah, where Baghdad's massacres are said to have driven many inhabitants to embrace the IS. This seems to be an admission of what has been happening so far. But even after this, the main Fallujah hospital has been rocketed again, with more civilian causalities.

Abadi, like Maliki, is a product of the Shia fundamentalist (and historically pro-Iran) Dawa party, and Shia militias are his only reliable troops. Obama has begun sending 12-man teams of U.S. soldiers to lead the Iraqi army (even the New York Times calls them "advisers" in quote marks, suggestive of American "advisers"' in Vietnam).

The U.S. turned a blind eye to the ethnic cleansing that drove many Sunnis out of Baghdad when the city was under U.S. occupation, and the looming offensive will likely see more ethnic cleansing on a bigger scale, as has already been the case over the past weeks. This, too, flows from the U.S.'s real war aims, which do not include saving anyone's lives.

Fourth, and most important, if the U.S. is to attack the IS in Syria, it must have "partners on the front lines" there, an "anvil" against which the hammer of American-led air strikes can maul IS forces. Without this, some military experts say, Obama's proposals would be tactics in search of a strategy. That role is to be played by a future armed force comprising soldiers provided by the Syrian "opposition." But the truth is that now, this opposition is almost entirely Islamist itself, differing from the IS and each other above all by their backing from Turkey or Saudi Arabia or Qatar, etc., and increasingly relying on the same kind of religious sectarian policies and terror tactics (including cutting off heads) as the IS.

One thing seems sure: The clash between the U.S. and the IS is a vortex that will pull the broader Middle East into a merciless, complex and prolonged series of conflicts. Millions of people are likely to suffer even more horrendously at the hands of reactionary forces, each pursuing their own interests by force of arms. The situation will almost certainly not come down to two neatly defined sides but rather be marked by contradictory and shifting alignments of mutual mortal enemies. As all the region's contradictions become greatly accentuated, it is likely that the clash between the Western powers and Islamism will become an even more important factor.

While the IS has created big problems for the dominant powers and may deal real blows to the U.S.,   the religious sectarianism necessarily entrained by the goal of a belief-based state is creating a vicious spiral of divisions and mutual slaughter among the masses of people whose interests lie in getting united against the imperialists and their global system. We've seen this in Iraq, where Sunni-Shia religious sectarianism sabotaged the struggle against the occupation and remains a factor that the U.S. is counting on to keep Iraq and Syria under its boot, with or without occupation.

There is no point in trying to figure out which is worse, the U.S. and its partners and clients representing the unacceptable old order on one side or the Islamists seeking an unacceptable new order on the other. The situation is terrible and will never change as long as people feel compelled to choose between one or the other.

 

A World to Win News Service is put out by A World to Win magazine, a political and theoretical review inspired by the formation of the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement, the embryonic center of the world's Marxist-Leninist-Maoist parties and organizations.

 


 

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Revolution #354 September 22, 2014

Gaza, Ukraine, Iraq... the Urgency of Working for Revolution in a World of Escalating Horrors, Sharpening Contradictions, and Growing Turmoil

September 22, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Editors’ note: This article was originally published on July 21, 2014 in issue #346. Since then, Israel’s military assault on Gaza has ebbed for the time being, but its criminal campaign of the ethnic cleansing of Palestine—and sharp ideological and political struggle over the nature and role of Israel—continues. The reactionary clash over Ukraine remains fraught and unpredictable. And across the globe, other contradictions are developing and sharpening—including the new U.S. military campaign in Iraq and Syria. There have also been important developments for the movement for revolution, in particular the eruption of mass protest and rebellion in the wake of the August 9 police murder of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and the role of revolutionaries within that; the August Abortion Rights Freedom Ride in Texas; and the announcement of a historic event on November 15 in New York City: “Revolution and Religion: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion—A Dialogue Between Cornel West & Bob Avakian.” In light of all this, we feel this article remains important and timely. 

 

On Thursday, July 17, two events jolted the world. The first was the crash of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17, killing all 298 on board, in the midst of months of clashes between rival reactionary Ukrainian factions and their great-power backers over the country’s future alignment. The second was Israel’s ground invasion of Gaza, which followed weeks of savage bombing and which together have led, at this writing, to the deaths of 370 Palestinians and the wounding of thousands more.

Anywhere you look, the global terrain is shifting, increasingly in profound and rapid ways. Many different contradictions are intensifying, creating the potential—indeed likelihood—for unexpected jolts and shocks to the world capitalist-imperialist system on any number of different, but inter-connected fronts. One New York Times columnist tweeted, “The tremendous amount of concurrent volatility in the world is unlike anything we have seen in years.”

Revolution will continue to cover these events in depth, but here we wanted to give our readers some basic points of orientation in terms of how to understand these developments, and what all who are outraged by the horrors taking place on a daily basis can and must do to hasten the day when we will not have to wake up to news of yet another savage outrage.

Two of the main contradictions behind many of the upheavals, crises, and transformations in the world today are:

First, the savage oppression and plunder of the oppressed or “Third World” countries by a handful of imperialist powers. We see this in the U.S.-created nightmares in Central America, where thousands are fleeing violence and abysmal poverty, and in the Middle East—whether the horrors in Iraq or Israel’s bombing of Gaza.

Second, the conflicts and tensions between rival capitalist powers are sharpening in ways not seen since the 1991 collapse of the then-imperialist Soviet Union. We see this in the confrontation between the U.S. and Russia over Ukraine; the clashes between China, a rising global power, and the U.S. and its allies (Japan, Vietnam, and the Philippines) in the Pacific; and on many other fronts, such as developing economic and military alliances, global trade negotiations, even environmental summits. (For background, see Raymond Lotta’s four-part 2008 series: “Shifts and Faultlines in the World Economy and Great Power Rivalry—What Is Happening and What It Might Mean.”)

These clashes are a product of the fundamental nature of the capitalist-imperialist system and the horrors it generates, and they are causing all manner of suffering and destruction: from the environmental crisis, to global joblessness, impoverishment, and inequality, to massive immigration and refugee crises (and the chauvinist backlash against migrants especially in the richer countries), to the global war on women, to the undermining of sustainable food production, to the mass incarceration of Black and Latino peoples in the U.S., even to the rise of reactionary religious fundamentalism.

This system is unable to address any of these nightmares because they are rooted in its most essential dynamics and workings: the relentless drive to accumulate profit in ruthless, crush-or-be crushed competition between capitalists and between capitalist powers. This is why these outrages are getting worse, not better. (For an in-depth analysis of capitalism’s driving dynamics, see “On the ‘Driving Force of Anarchy’ and the Dynamics of Change—A Sharp Debate and Urgent Polemic: The Struggle for a Radically Different World and the Struggle for a Scientific Approach to Reality,” by Raymond Lotta.)

All this—on the 100th anniversary of the first great global imperialist slaughter, known as World War 1, no less—reveals the unreformability, utter bankruptcy, and illegitimacy of the current world order and the system that created it, capitalism-imperialism headed by the U.S.

But these events also reveal that the rulers are not all-powerful and not, at the most fundamental level, in control of events. In fact the current world order is changing and fracturing before our eyes. It is important for people to confront that the world is not going to stay the same or revert to “normal.” And that the question is not whether the horrors will increase—they will in ways many people believe could “never happen here” (including events in seemingly “far off” places reverberating globally including right here in the U.S.). The real question is whether something radically different and much better can and will be wrenched out of this escalating madness and suffering.

It can be... and for humanity’s sake it must be. There is the vision and concrete plan for this radically different and much better world, and the line, leadership, and strategy to get out of this madness and get there. But taking this up and fighting for it depends on us.

What to do?

Fight the power, and transform the people, for revolution. This means urgently persisting in all of the components of the Revolutionary Communist Party’s strategy for revolution, as this strategy is being actively and scientifically applied to the developing situation. (See, “Summer 2014: Making Advances... Toward Revolution.”) This includes two key battles now: the mass initiatives to stop patriarchy and the enslavement of women and to end mass incarceration.

But especially important now, and throughout the whole process of preparing for revolution, are the two mainstays:

First, developing a culture of appreciation, promotion, and popularization around the leadership, the body of work, and the method and approach of Bob Avakian.

Second, wielding revcom.us/Revolution newspaper as a key tool in building the movement for revolution.

(For more on how these are at the center of the strategy for revolution, see “A Statement from the Revolutionary Communist Party: On the Strategy for Revolution.”)

For those already part of the movement for revolution, and all who want to support it or join in, dig into, promote, sustain, and spread these mainstays.

For those agonizing about the state of the world but not yet sure about the causes and solutions, actively oppose the things you find outrageous—like the U.S.-backed Israeli massacre of Palestinians. And keep fighting them until they are ended—wherever they occur, not just in the U.S. but globally. Second, work to understand the problem and the solution, especially by actively engaging the pathbreaking work of Bob Avakian and Revolution newspaper’s coverage and analysis.

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/354/there-is-an-epidemic-of-police-murders-en.html

Revolution #354 September 22, 2014

There IS an EPIDEMIC of Police Murders: 60 Stolen Lives from July 17-August 17

September 22, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

A group of volunteers for Revolution/revcom.us is compiling statistics for police murders since cops in Staten Island, New York, used a chokehold to kill Eric Garner, a 43-year-old Black man, on July 17, 2014. So far the group has established that just in the month after Garner's murder, police around the U.S. murdered at least 60 people--about two a day. This is staggering and outrageous--there IS an epidemic of police murders in the USA!

Valuable work on exposing this has been done by the Malcolm X Grassroots Coalition and others. The revcom.us group is continuing to document lives stolen by police since July 17 and asks readers to contribute to this work. Send instances of police murders you know of to: revolution.reports@yahoo.com. The world needs to know this AND people need to be part of putting an END to the epidemic of police murder.

*****

Eric Garner

Eric Garner

Joaquin Cibrian

Joaquin Cibrian

Diana Showman

Dante Parker

Dante Parker

Gabriel Lopez-Gonzalez

Gabriel Lopez-Gonzalez

Michael Brown

Regan Wagner

Omar Abrego

Maria Rodriguez

Anthony Calloway

Michelle Cusseaux

John Crawford

Ezell Ford

1) July 17, ERIC GARNER, New York City: 43-year-old Black man killed by NYPD chokehold. (New York Daily News, July 17)

2) July 17, MISTY HOLT-SINGH, Stockton, California: 41-year-old woman held as a hostage in a bank robbery, killed by police bullets. (Associated Press, July 17)

3) July 17, GILBERT RENTERIA JR., Stockton, California: 30-year-old Latino shot and killed after an alleged bank robbery and a high-speed chase. (Associated Press, July 18)

4) July 17, ALEX GREGORY MARTINEZ, Stockton, California: 27-year-old Latino shot and killed after an alleged bank robbery and a high- speed chase. (Associated Press, July 18)

5) July 17, JUSTIN DAVIS, Germantown, Maryland: 24-year-old suicidal veteran with PTSD, sitting in a car with a rifle shot and killed by three police. (The Commercial Appeal, July 18)

6) July 18, KENNETH JOHNSON, North Las Vegas, Nevada: 34-year-old man shot and killed after fleeing from a routine traffic stop on a motor scooter and brandishing a fake weapon. (FOX5VEGAS, July 18)

7) July 20, RICHARD DUNCALF, Kent, Washington: 28-year-old man shot multiple times by five police in an alleged shootout after a manhunt [alleged crime unspecified]. (Seattle Times, July 22)

8) July 22, JOAQUIN CIBRIAN, La Joya, Texas: 29-year-old Latino, murder suspect, shot and killed after the house he was in was rammed by an armored vehicle and tear-gassed. (News.msn.com, July 22)

9) July 24, LORI KNOWLES, Henry County, Georgia: 37-year-old woman shot by police at her house. (Atlanta-Journal Constitution, July 25)

10) July 25, LUIS JOBEL, Los Angeles, California: 33-year-old Latino shot and killed after reports of someone allegedly vandalizing property and throwing rocks. (NBC Los Angeles, July 25)

11) July 25, NICHOLAS LISTER, Millcreek, Utah: 31-year-old white man after a domestic dispute at his apartment. (Salt Lake City Tribune, July 25)

12) July 27, ROBERT HENDERSON, Huntington, West Virginia: 37-year-old man shot and killed by police after a dispute in a bar and making a “threatening gesture.” (Associated Press, July 27)

13) July 28, STEVEN ISBY, Chicago, Illinois: 53-year-old burglary suspect. (CBS News, July 28)

14) July 28, CHARLES MOZDIR, New York City: 32-year-old suspected child molester shot and killed by police in Greenwich Village during an attempted arrest. (CNN, July 28)

15) July 29, JOSH EDWARDS, Christian County, Colorado: 25-year-old shot and killed when police tried to serve a warrant. (Herald-Review.com, July 30)

16) July 30, RICHARD NELSON: Honolulu, Hawai'i: 52-year-old shot and killed after he allegedly rear-ended a bus, was seen drinking in his car and driving erratically. (Hawaii News Now, July 30)

17) August 1, DANIEL PIERRE, Winslow Township, New Jersey: 42-year-old, shot by the police at his trailer home. (ABC News Channel 6, August 1)

18) August 1, ANTHONY CALLOWAY, Fulton County, Georgia: 27-year-old Black man shot by a Fulton County Sherriff’s deputy. (WSB-TV News 2, )

19) August 1, FRANK AL MENDOZA, Los Angeles, California: 54- year-old Latino bystander shot by police in a hostage situation at his home. (Los Angeles Times, August 1)

20) August 2, CEDRIC OSCAR RAMIREZ, Los Angeles, California: 24-year-old Latino killed by an LA County sheriff’s deputy after allegedly taking people hostage in their home. (Los Angeles Times, August 2)

21) August 3, OMAR ABREGO, Los Angeles, California: 37-year-old Latino, beaten by the LAPD after a traffic stop, died 12 hours later. (Los Angeles Times, August 12)

22) August 3, MARK LANZA, Phoenix, Arizona: 23-year-old man shot and killed by police, suspected of a burglary. (The Arizona Republic, August 4)

23) August 3, JACOREY CALHOUN, Oakland, California: 23-year-old Black man shot and killed by Alameda County sheriff’s deputy after a car stop. (KTVU.com Channel 2, August 3)

24) August 3, RYAN SWEARINGEN, Ft. Madison Iowa: 27-year-old white man shot and killed by police after allegedly slashing car tires. (WQAD TV, August 3)

25) August 3, YEE VANG, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota: 20-year-old Asian-American man, shot and killed by police after an alleged car-jacking. (WCCO Channel 4, August 3)

26) August 2, STEVE MATTHEW DOLL, Stockton, California: 40-year-old shot by police after a car chase. (The Recordnet.com, August 19)

27) August 3, VINCENT HINES, Harris County, Texas: 58-year-old man shot by Harris County Sheriff’s deputies after allegedly robbing a bank. (Houston.com, August 6)

28) August 4, MARIA RODRIGUEZ, Bakersfield, California: 42-year-old Latina, shot and killed by Bakersfield PD after allegedly pointing a BB gun at them. (ABC News August 4)

29) August 4, MANUEL FLORES, Albuquerque, New Mexico : 28 -year-old Latino, shot and killed by a San Bernardino County sheriff after a car accident. (KOAT TV, Albuquerque, August 5)

30) August 5, DONYALE ROWE, Cincinnati, Ohio: 37- year-old Black man shot by the Cincinnati police after an alleged traffic violation. (Cincinnati.com, August 5)

31) August 5, JOHN CRAWFORD, Beavercreek, Ohio: 22-year-old Black man shot and killed by police while shopping at Walmart holding a pellet gun that he got off the store shelf. (New York Daily News, August 7)

32) August 5, JEREMY LAKE, Tulsa, Oklahoma: 19-year-old Black man shot and killed by his girlfriend’s white father, who is a cop, after an argument in front of his home. (CBS News.com, August 9)

33) August 6, JAMES PICKARD, JR., Pearl City, Hawai'i: 51-year-old man shot multiple times, killed by Honolulu PD after allegedly stealing a car. (KHON 2 TV, August 6)

34) August 7, REGAN WAGNER, Longview, Texas: 23-year-old, white man killed by police after a traffic stop. (News-Journal.com, August 9)

35) August 7, JOSE REYES-TORRES, Folsom, California: 20-year-old Latino shot and killed by police after allegedly confronting them with a knife. (KCRATV.com, August 10)

36) August 8, AUSTIN DAVID UNCLES, Denver, Colorado: 26-year-old white man shot by Colorado State Troopers going after him for an alleged car theft. (ABC 7 News Denver, August 13)

37) August 8, UNIDENTIFIED MAN, AGE UNKNOWN, Detroit, Michigan: Shot and killed after a routine traffic stop. (WWJ TV 62 CBS, August 8)

38) August 8, JUSTIN WAYNE HIGGINS, Fort Smith, Arkansas: 23-year-old white man shot and killed by Fort Smith PD after an alleged hostage situation. (SouthwestTimesRecord.com, August 10)

39) August 9, JOSE PAULINO, JR., Tamaqua, Pennsylvania : 38-year-old Latino tasered to death by Tamaqua police. (PA Homepage, August 9)

40) August 9, MICHAEL BROWN, Ferguson, Missouri: 18-year-old Black man, shot multiple times by police officer Darren Wilson, Ferguson PD while his hands were up in the air. (New York Times, August 20)

41) August 9, JOSEPH PENDERGHEST, Springfield Township, Pennsylvania: 40-year-old man shot by the Pennsylvania state police after an auto accident. (WGAL.com News 8, August 10)

42) August 9, ALBERTO CORNELIO MORALES, Walnut Park, California: 41-year-old Latino shot and killed by police. (Eyewitness News ABC 7 Los Angeles , August 9)

43) August 11, TORREZ HARRIS, Canton, Mississippi: 52-year-old Black man shot in a laundromat by the police after he allegedly shot his step-daughter in a family argument. (WAPT News, central Mississippi, August 12)

44) August 11, EDDIE DAVIS, DeKalb, Texas: 67-year-old Black man shot and killed by DeKalb police in his home. (arklatexhomepage.com, August 11)

45)August 11, JOSE MANUEL GONZALEZ, Dallas, Texas: 18-year-old Latino, tasered and shot by the Dallas police in his home; he later died at the hospital. (Fox News, Dallas, August 11)

46) August 11, EZELL FORD, Los Angeles, California: 24-year-old Black man with a history of mental illness, shot and killed by the LAPD while lying on the ground. (Washington Post, August 15)

47) August 12, RONALD PIFER, Fairfield Township, Michigan: 54-year-old man shot and killed by Lenawee County Sheriff deputies who went to his house to enforce a court order for hospitalization. (Michigan Live, August 12)

48) August 12, GABRIEL LOPEZ-GONZALEZ, San Fernando, California: 22-year-old Latino, shot and killed by San Fernando PD. (NBC News, Los Angeles, August 13)

49) August 1, JAMES DE VITO, Suffern, New York: 59-years-old, killed by off-duty NYPD cop, who was driving drunk and going in the wrong direction, in a head on collision. (ABC News, New York, September 17)

50) August 13, REAGAN JONES, Muscle Shoals, Alabama: 35-year-old with a history of mental illness, shot by the police. (Alabama.com, August 14)

51) August 13, UNIDENTIFIED MAN, Houston, Texas: Shot and killed by Houston police. (Houston Chronicle, August 13)

52) August 13, MICHELLE CUSSEAUX, Phoenix, Arizona: 50-year-old Black woman shot and killed by the Phoenix PD after her family called the police to take her to a mental health facility. (Arizona Republic, August 23)

53) August 13, JACINTO ZAVALA, Greeley, Colorado: 21-year-old Latino veteran with a history of PTSD, shot and killed by police. (NBC News 9, Colorado. August 13)

54) August 14, DIANA SHOWMAN, San Jose, California: 19-year-old, shot and killed by SJPD after she allegedly pointed a drill at the police. (San Jose Mercury News, August 14)

55) August 14, SONNY WAGNER, Newton, Kansas: 52 year-old man shot by the Newton police in response to a domestic violence call. (KAKE News, August 15)

56) August 14, DANTE PARKER Victorville, California: 36-year-old Black man tasered to death by San Bernadino County sheriffs. (Newsone.com, August 15)

57) August 14, ALVIN CURTIS JENNINGS, Davenport, Iowa: 61-year-old man shot multiple times by police after a domestic dispute. (WQAD 8 News, August 14)

58) August 17, LEVON LEROY LOVE, San Antonio ,Texas: 44-year-old man found passed out in his car, tasered to death by the police after refusing to go with paramedics. (San Antonio-Express News, August 19)

59) August 17, STEVEN R. PIIRAINEN, Mexico, Maine: 52-year-old white man, shot by Maine police after allegedly stealing a truck. (WMTW Channel 8 TV, August 19)

60) August 3, JUSTIN ARMSTRONG, Pinetop, Arizona: 28-year-old man (nationality unknown), suspect in a shooting, shot and killed in a casino parking lot. (WMIcentral.com August 8, 2014)

NO MORE!!! NO MORE!!! NO MORE!!!

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/354/behind-three-of-the-police-murders-in-september-en.html

Revolution #354 September 22, 2014

Minister: "More of our black boys are being killed by police than were killed by the Ku Klux Klan by rope"

Behind Three of the Police Murders in September

September 22, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

September 21, 2014. This past month there have been reports of dozens of people killed by the police in the United States. The following are three of those stories:

Saratoga Springs, Utah: "They killed my son because he's Black"

The Saratoga Springs police killed 22-year-old Darrien Hunt on September 10, 2014.

The police say they were responding to a call about a "suspicious" man walking down the road carrying a "Samurai-type sword" and that they shot him after he lunged at them. But an independent autopsy performed at the family's request shows that Darrien Hunt was shot numerous times from BEHIND as he ran away from the police. And Randall Edwards, an attorney for the Hunt family said, "This is consistent with statements made by witnesses on the scene, who report that Darrien was shot to death while running away from police." Edwards went on to say, "It would appear difficult, if not impossible, to reconcile these facts with a story that Darrien was lunging toward the officers when he was shot."

Darrien's mother, Susan Hunt, received a photo from someone who was on the scene showing the police confronting her son just before shots were fired. According to the Deseret News, "In the picture, two officers are standing on either side of Darrien. The sword is not visible in the picture. The family believes, based on the limited information they've been given, that at some point during that confrontation, a shot was fired by police. Susan Hunt doesn't know if that shot hit her son or not. But she suspects he then ran toward the Panda Express, where she believes multiple shots were fired and he was struck and killed while running away. 'I've been begging the police, why from the time I saw the pictures of you just standing by him with his hands to his side, does he end up seconds later with a bullet in him? And then if he's running (according to eyewitnesses), why you had to put in more bullets, and I don't even know how many. That's what I want to know,' Susan Hunt said." (September 13, 2014)

Darrien Hunt's mother is white, his father is Black. The Deseret News reported that his mother described her son as someone who "loved everybody and was deeply concerned about travesties in other parts of the world, particularly Africa.... He wanted to make a difference... His potential was amazing."

Susan Hunt said, "They killed my son because he's Black. No white boy with a little sword would they shoot while he's running away.... Those stupid cops thought they had to murder over a toy. This is my baby. This is my family. And they ruined my family."

Savannah, Georgia: "Why was he shot in the head? He was handcuffed?"

The Savannah police killed 29-year-old on Charles Smith on September 18, 2014.

News reports say that the police arrested Charles Smith on outstanding warrants, handcuffed him and put him in the back of a patrol car. Police say that Smith was able to move his hands to the front of his body and kick out a window of the patrol car, that he had a gun when he tried exiting the car and was then shot by an officer.

But this contradicts what eyewitnesses say. The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported: "Eyewitness Maurice Williams, 27, said he knew Smith from the neighborhood. He said about 11 a.m. he saw Smith in the back of a police car. He stopped to watch it go by when Smith, who was about 6 feet 7 inches tall, kicked out the window, folded his legs out and pushed on the door. Williams said the officer exited the patrol car as Smith kicked the window a third time. Williams said he heard the officer say, 'Do you want to die?' while he shot Smith in the legs. Williams said he saw Smith, still handcuffed, escape out the window and fall to the ground. He said the officer fired his weapon three more times, striking Smith in the head and back."

The night of the killing, a crowd of people marched to the Savannah police station demanding justice for 29-year-old Charles Smith, who was shot and killed Thursday morning by a Savannah police officer while in custody. Andrina Hardy, Charles Smith's aunt said, "We want to know why he was shot in the head. He was handcuffed."

A minister told the crowd: "More of our black boys are being killed by police than were killed by the Ku Klux Klan by rope."

Richmond, California: The police murder of Richard "Pedie" Perez

Revolution/revcom.us received the following correspondence:

Richard "Pedie" Perez was shot to death by a Richmond Police Officer on September 14, 2014.

24-year-old Pedie Perez was standing with friends out in front of a liquor store when Officer Wallace Jensen drove up for a "security check." An older woman who was with Pedie when the police rolled up said she was there when Pedie was gunned down, "Police told me 'go, go' and made Pedie sit on the ground. As I turned the corner I heard shots." She said she ran back and tried to go to Pedie and the police pointed a gun in her face and told her that if she didn't move back she would be "laying down with him."

John Burris, the family's lawyer, says Pedie was unarmed when Jensen shot him at least five times and that the cop's claim that the shooting was necessary because Pedie had grabbed for his gun was a "flat-out lie," contradicted by every single witness they had interviewed. Burris said, "This officer should be prosecuted for murder."

On Saturday, September 20, over 50 friends and family members came from the funeral to stand together and express their outrage at a press conference before attending a memorial to celebrate Pedie's life. In the days since the murder there have been vigils at the store, and friends held a protest in front of the police station and the Revolution Club has been a part of this. As of this writing, the cop has not been charged and is on paid leave.

At the press conference friends and family, young and old, people of different nationalities spoke about Pedie's kind and caring nature, buying food or cigarettes for the homeless and other people who had no money. Cephus Johnson, the uncle of Oscar Grant, spoke in solidarity with the family, and Pedie's father, grandfather, and aunt also spoke.

One young woman talked about how "Pedie was an outspoken, special person" and then said, "It [police murder] needs to stop. This is why people in the community don't like the police: They say they protect and serve but they really don't. All they doing is just killing us and I'm tired of it!"

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/353/take-the-revolution-to-the-campuses-en.html

Revolution #354 September 22, 2014

How to...

Take the Revolution to the Campuses

September 15, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

There is today a more rebellious mood on the campuses, and a real need for the RCP and the whole movement for revolution to much more deeply connect with that mood.  But how? Here’s a suggestion for a crucial first step, to take right away:

Let’s pull together and systematically go through the many different ties on the campuses that the Party and the movement DO have – the people who have engaged to some degree with BA, who have been active in different initiatives in which the Party participates, who have supported or bought books at Revolution Books stores. And let’s pose to those people the problem: the students are beginning to raise their heads and challenge things. How do we get our revolutionary current much more connected with the ferment and resistance that’s beginning to bubble there? How can the Month of Resistance Against Mass Incarceration, Police Terror, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation find expression on campus – powerful expression, even if the month may not be known on a particular campus right now – in a short time? And how especially can the upcoming Dialogue between Bob Avakian and Cornel West become known on the campuses and begin attracting radical-minded people? How can the revcom.us site and Revolution newspaper become more connected with things? What are the questions that need to be spoken to, the thinking that needs to be challenged or supported (or both!), the currents that need to be united with and connected with? Are there ways to bring people onto campus – into clubs, classes, and dorms – who can represent what this revolution is all about and who can learn from and challenge the students? And what roles could the people we’re talking with play in all this?

And as that is being done, let’s sum up what we’re learning in good time but also have the active orientation of moving quickly with people on their ideas, even on the spot.

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/354/an-incident-on-the-train-en.html

Revolution #354 September 22, 2014

An Incident on the Train

September 22, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From a reader:

I was on the train a couple of nights ago when a woman in scrubs gets on and sits down next to me. She looks very tired and puts her hands on her forehead. After a couple of seconds, a man approaches her, puts his head very close to hers and demands that they talk. She says no and politely asks him to stop talking to her and that she doesn't want to do this right now. It is clear to me that these two people know each other. This man kept insisting that she talk to him and she kept saying no, that that was not going to happen, and asked him to stop.

After the third time of him saying that she had to talk to him, I interjected very loudly so that others on the train could hear me. I yelled, "She has asked you to stop bothering her. She has clearly told you that she doesn't want to talk to you and you keep bothering her and hovering over her! That's called sexual harassment and assault. You need to back off and leave her alone! Your time is up!" The man looks at me, cracks his knuckles, looks as if he is about to punch me, snidely laughs, and retorts, "Who the fuck are you to tell me who I can talk to?! You're fucking harassing me! Shut the fuck up, bitch!"

The train comes to the next stop and as people are getting on and off, a handful of women come up to us and tell the man that he just needs to stop, that when a woman says stop he needs to respect that and stop harrassing her, and that he needs to leave this woman alone and get off the train. His response to each of these other women's remarks was, "I'm not doing anything wrong! You're harassing me!" At every point he continued to deny that he has instigated a situation in which every woman on the train felt threatened and fearful of what he would do not only to this woman he knew but to everyone.

As the seat on the other side of the woman then opens up, he quickly sits down on the other side of her and continues leaning his body into hers and demanding that she speak to him. I loudly say again so that everyone can hear me, "This man will not leave this woman alone after she has asked him now several times to stop. This is sexual harrassment! Sexual assault is a form of patriarchy!"

Meanwhile, this man is continuing to demand a conversation with this woman and to lean his body into hers. She is getting louder in her refusal to speak to him saying, "Just stop. I asked you very politely to stop and you won't stop. What do I have to do?" We arrive at the next stop. The woman, exasperated, says, "That's it. I've had enough. I am just going to get off." As she walks off the train, the man follows her. The train doors close again and we are off to the next stop.

I wanted to share this with readers because this is not an isolated incident or anomaly but part and parcel of how this system operates. These conditions are intolerable, and under the social relations of this system, no woman can escape this horror no matter where she comes from or how hard she has worked. It is critical that the women on this train came forward to stand up for this woman and demand that this not continue.

As violence against women continues to become more virulent with the rise of rape pornography, the buying and selling of young girls into conditions of sexual slavery, and other concentrations of women being treated as expendable pieces of property, more people around the world need to refuse to put up with this for even one more minute. However, as people stand up in refusing to tolerate this, much more will be needed to lead people to act on their principles to see an end to the oppression of women.

Everyone in society needs to know that there is a way out of this horror and that, no, we don't just have to "swallow it" and go along with this, thinking that it can't be any different. Not only is this thinking not true and causes a lot of harm, but it also prevents people from engaging with and developing a scientific understanding of the basis for overcoming the oppression of women through communist revolution and the importance of going for all-out revolution that doesn't stop until this degradation is wholly done away with.

A conversation breaks out on the train with a woman who begins by saying that the woman could have gone and told the train conductor and "the problem could have been taken care of." Another woman responded that even if she had gone and told the train conductor, this woman would still be afraid that this man would retaliate and harm her. A young woman said that she is worried about where this woman could go so she wouldn't have to face this again. Another woman commented that this man was scary and that more people should have stepped forward and demanded that he get off the train.

I brought up that this was not the "human nature" of men—men are not born thinking that they have the right to treat women this way—but is indicative of how men are trained to view women in society at large. This is a society based on the system of capitalism-imperialism where patriarchal views of women are rampant and color every interaction between people. This is a system in which women are rountinely harrassed, degraded, demeaned, and told in a myriad of ways that this is the best of all possible worlds, that we are never going to see an end to rape and other forms of sexual violence that happen multiple times a day, and that all we can do is "lean in" and try to get as much as we can for ourselves.

This particular man's view that this woman is his property and that she better answer to him is indicative of the relations under this system—a system in which women only exist and are given value in relationship to men. This is why we need a revolution and nothing less to do away with this and to get to a whole different world where women are treated as full human beings.

As I was speaking, several women were nodding their heads and silently saying yes. After I said this, the train went silent. An older woman at the edge of the train car approached, thanked me for what I said, and asked me if I could explain for everyone what the BA on my shirt means. I was wearing the "BA Speaks: Revolution—Nothing Less!" T-shirt. I shared that my shirt refers to BA, Bob Avakian, the chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, who has for decades advanced the science of communism—why the world doesn't have to be this way and why there is a basis to make revolution in this country so that people can get beyond the oppressive relations marked by this system. BA has been fighting for the full emancipation and liberation of people all around the world over the last several decades, leading a movement for revolution in this country, and is a best friend to the masses of people.

I then reached into my bag and got out palm cards for the world historic November 15 dialogue between Cornel West and Bob Avakian on "Revolution and Religion: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion." I shared that people could come hear BA in dialogue with Cornel West on November 15—that this is a lifetime opportunity to grapple with the work that BA has done over decades and the role that it can and must have in the world today if we want to see an end to these horrors that are happening not only against women but to all of humanity. Several people took palm cards as they left the train and thanked me for speaking out.

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/354/south-central-LA-protest-if-youre-sick-of-the-murdering-police-out-of-your-houses-into-the-streets-en.html

Revolution #354 September 22, 2014

South Central LA Protest: "If you're sick of the murdering police—out of your houses, into the streets!"

September 23, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

From a reader:

On September 20, people again took to the streets in the neighborhood where Ezell Ford and Omar Abrego were murdered by LAPD Newton Division police last month. About 50 people marched for miles through South Central, demanding justice and calling others into the streets (including explicitly, with the chant "If you're sick of the murdering police—out of your houses, into the streets!").

South Central LA March on September 20 against police murder

South Central LA: September 20, people take to the streets protesting the murders of Ezell Ford and Omar Abrego by police last month. Photo: special to revcom.us.

In front of Newton Division, people spoke and shouted and cried their bitterness and anger, in front of a line of pigs smirking and laughing at the horrific suffering the people were throwing back at them. Tkeyah Boyd, whose boyfriend Tyler Damon Woods was murdered by Long Beach police last year at the age of 19, yelled and demanded at the police: I have a two-year-old son, what am I supposed to do? Tell me what I'm supposed to do! A youth angrily told how police killed his cousin who was blind and had a twin brother, and how those twins relied on and helped each other. People demanded the arrest and jailing of the cops who killed Ezell and Omar, and a stop to the murders by police.

A youth who had been arrested for blowing a whistle at the police was brought up to the front. Ceebo tha Rapper, who has been targeted by police for his video "Fuck tha Police" in honor of Ezell Ford, explained that the whistles are a way people are protecting themselves from the police, and he exposed the police for harassing this youth, challenging them to arrest him now for blowing a whistle, while dozens of people blew whistles as loudly as they could. On the march back through South Central, people blew whistles the whole way, to the chant "Yo brother/sister, we got your back, we blow that whistle when the pigs attack!"

As the march arrived back at its beginning on 65th and Broadway, people stood in the intersection and immediately the pigs decided they were now going to try to put people back in their place. When people did not leave the intersection, more and more police cars showed up and dozens of pigs filled the streets—wearing riot gear, with tear gas/rubber bullet guns in hand, running in formation to block off the streets and push people back. People fell back off the main street and into the neighborhood but did not leave the street, and some people began to come out of their houses and join in. People blew whistles and refused to back down. Eventually the police retreated, and as they did one woman began a joyous chant: "Get on out!"

At the march on September 20 against the murders of Ezell Ford and Omar Abrego, the call went out to join the October Month of Resistance. Photo: special to revcom.us.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/354/new-outrage-in-ferguson-memorial-to-michael-brown-burned-down-en.html

Revolution #354 September 22, 2014

New Outrage in Ferguson: Memorial to Michael Brown Burned Down

September 23, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

People in the neighborhood rebuild the memorial to Michael Brown after it was burned during the night September 23. Photo: Special to Revolution/revcom.us

Right away, after Michael Brown was gunned down and killed by the Ferguson police on August 9, the people in the neighborhood set up a memorial—right in the middle of the street where the cops let Michael Brown's body lie for hours. They put stuffed animals, candles, baseball caps and many messages of love and anger. For weeks, people from around the country and the world have come to this memorial, to place flowers, put their own messages, and stand in silence, staring at the blood-stained road—especially during the weeks of defiant protests in the streets.

In the early morning hours of September 23, someone, or some group of people burned this memorial down. Some people think this was done by the cops. When the people in the neighborhood saw this very early in the morning they got together to rebuild the memorial right away, and it was rebuilt by 9 am. Two things can be seen here. One, the outrageous and cowardly nature of this system–how it can't even let the people have a memorial to the people the armed enforcers murder. They want to destroy this memorial because it is such a reminder to the people of the CRIME that was committed at this spot, of the life that was stolen–and of the need to keep on fighting to get justice for Michael Brown. Two, the people are determined to fight for justice for Michael Brown, to not let this get swept under the rug, and this was the spirit behind how they came together to put a new memorial up right away.

 

Below: People in the neighborhood are determined to fight for justice for Michael Brown; the memorial was rebuilt within hours after it was burned down.
Photos: Special to Revolution/revcom.us

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/354/mission-statement-stop-mass-incarceration-network-roosevelt-university-chicago-en.html

Revolution #354 September 22, 2014

Mission Statement
Stop Mass Incarceration Network
Roosevelt University, Chicago

September 22, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

This statement appears online at the Stop Mass Incarceration Network website, stopmassincarceration.net:

We are students and faculty at Roosevelt University who have joined the national call for the October Month of Resistance to Mass Incarceration, Police Terror, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation. We intend to encourage and mobilize fellow students and faculty to join forces to stop the injustice of mass incarceration.

Our group began spontaneously from a university course on social movements and social change.  When the professor mentioned involvement in the Stop Mass Incarceration Network, a number of students asked, “Where do we sign on?”  The result has been a vigorous organizing effort at the university and beyond.

We are organizing public forums on the New Jim Crow, Police Militarization, and the Lessons of Ferguson and on Mass Incarceration, Immigrant Detention, and the Militarized Border, study groups on the New Jim Crow and militarized policing, outreach to high schools and universities, a workshop on legal rights in police encounters, and a major cultural event on the evening following the October 22 Day of Protest. Please join us in the united effort for October! The U.S. now imprisons a higher proportion of its population than any other society in the world.

There are over 2.2 million incarcerated in the U.S. prison system. The U.S. has only 5% of the world’s population; yet has a full 25% of the world’s prison population. The prison system targets the most vulnerable and marginalized in our society. It funnels the poor into the system, and weeds out the wealthy.  We, in Chicago, are all too familiar with mass incarceration, police torture and abuse.

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! HOW LONG CAN A CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM THAT IS ITSELF CRIMINAL ENDURE? REMEMBER ALL THOSE WHO HAVE DIED AS A RESULT OF VIGILANTE AND POLICE VIOLENCE! OPPOSE THE CRIMINALIZATION OF YOUTH!

 

http://www.stopmassincarceration.net/

Contact: 

Leon Bailey
Department of Sociology
Roosevelt University
lbailey@roosevelt.edu

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/354/we-urge-you-to-come-to-ferguson-missouri-october-10-13-en.html

Revolution #354 September 22, 2014

We Urge You to Come to Ferguson, Missouri, October 10-13

September 24, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

A call has been issued by Hands Up United, Organization for Black Struggle, and a coalition of local and national organizations demanding justice for Mike Brown and an end to police violence and racial profiling. This is a very important development, and a very important call. People across the country are being urged to travel to Ferguson on October 10 through October 13 to participate in a series of events and marches to stand with those who’ve been in the streets for the past seven weeks fighting for justice. The main march is scheduled for Saturday, October 11, in downtown St. Louis.

Ferguson, August 30, 2014

Protest against the police murder of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, August 30, 2014.

We urge everyone who understands that the murder of Mike Brown and the subsequent military assault on the people are howling outrages, to answer this call and come to Ferguson. Your participation in this struggle to achieve justice will make a huge difference in strengthening the people on the front lines here in Ferguson and in other parts of the country. Send a delegation from your campus or church or neighborhood. Parents and families of loved ones murdered by the police should lend their voices. Organize a car caravan. Jump on a bus or train! If you can’t make it, send a banner to the people of Ferguson signed by all who are standing with the struggle, but could not be there in person.

You are also invited to be part of the "Revolution—Nothing Less" contingent in the march. And, you are also invited to be a part of a “Stop Mass Incarceration” contingent letting everyone know about October 22—the national day of protest against police brutality—and the October Month of Resistance.

This call for people from around the country to come to Ferguson October 10-13 comes at a crucial juncture in this battle. Everyone who wants to see an end to the police murder and brutality that Mike Brown’s murder has brought to light should be part of advancing the struggle in the face of efforts from the highest levels of government to repress and derail it.

The people, especially the defiant ones in Ferguson, have heroically stood up...protesting this police murder, and refusing to back down in the face of tanks, tear gas, police dogs, and rubber bullets. Over 200 people protesting the murder of Mike Brown have been arrested. Just now on September 24, after the memorial to Mike Brown was burned down in the early hours of the morning, the anger boiled over—people not only rebuilt the memorial but took to the streets in outrage.

The system continues to work the way it was designed to work...refusing once again to indict a murdering pig. The approach has been to wear people down, slander Mike Brown over and over again, and employ tactics to confuse, demoralize, and divide the people, and cover up this murder in order to lay the basis to let Darren Wilson, the pig who murdered Mike Brown walk free. The grand jury’s life has been extended until January.

The stakes in this struggle for justice are high. If the system is compelled to back up and concede to the demands of the people, it will have an enormous impact on the struggle against police terror across the country...and it will also objectively strengthen people standing up all over the country during the October Month of Resistance to Mass Incarceration, Police Terror, Repression, and the Criminalization of a Generation. On the other hand, if the system is allowed to get away with murder and triumphs over a struggle that has inspired people around the world...this too will convey a message, that Black lives do not matter.

October Month of Resistance

The national Stop Mass Incarceration Network has fully endorsed the call for protests in Ferguson demanding justice for Mike Brown and an end to police violence and racial profiling, October 10 through October 13.

In addition, the newly formed chapter in Ferguson of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network calls on people to support these actions, and is also calling for these protests:

October 9, 5 pm: Protest at Ferguson Court and Police Station, 222 S. Florissant Rd. Demand authorities drop ALL charges on people arrested during the rebellion after Mike Brown was murdered in August. One of the first hearings for arrested protesters is scheduled for the criminal court at 6 pm.

October 22, 5 pm: Rally/march will gather at Canfield Drive (9300 W. Florissant). March will proceed to Canfield Apartments where Michael Brown was murdered by police and proceed through Ferguson community to the police station at 222 S. Florissant Rd.

 

For more information, schedule of events and updates go to: fergusonoctober.com

 


 

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Revolution #354 September 22, 2014

Month of Resistance to Mass Incarceration, Police Terror, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation

Updated November 3, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

New: Click for Printable and Shareable Poster: PDF | JPG
Poster with more text

“The October Month of Resistance to Mass Incarceration, Police Terror, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation must be like a giant STOP sign stuck right in the face of American society, day after day, so that it can’t be covered up, whited out, ignored, neutralized or suppressed. Many different people will act in many different ways—from teach-ins, sermons and social media postings to street demonstrations. The defiant youth who refuse any longer to accept being demonized and criminalized will be in the streets and raising their voices in other ways in October. People whose loved ones have been murdered by cops or who have been locked away in the dungeons of this incarceration nation will join them.”

Through all this and more, the message
must come through to the whole society:

We REFUSE to live in a society that has no better fate for tens of millions of its people than segregation, harassment, brutalization, incarceration and outright murder at the hands of its enforcers—and we will not rest until this is STOPPED. We refuse to make our peace with this “new Jim Crow”—a social system which targets Black, Latino and other oppressed peoples and is nothing but a slow, structural genocide. We will not tolerate this. WE WILL RESIST!

This is what must mark October 2014.

All who agree must act!

October 22: Initial Reflections

(October 29, 2014)

Call and Signatories

We Pledge NO MORE!


For the Month of Resistance
A powerful new artistic work by Alice Walker

GATHER

A poem dedicated to Carl Dix and Cornel West

October 30:

Wearing orange in opposition to mass incarceration

(November 3, 2014)

October 22:

National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression, and the Criminalization of a Generation

Points of Assembly

Breaking News on October 22 National Day of Protest / Month of Resistance to Mass Incarceration, Police Terror, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation

The Stop Mass Incarceration Network

Mass Incarceration + Silence = Genocide — Act to STOP IT NOW!


October 1st: Resistance!

Get Involved! Actions Nationwide

Ferguson: Justice for Michael Brown!

Statements of Support

Re: Month of Resistance

Editorials

Calling from Fruitvale Station: STOP Police Terror, Mass Incarceration, Repression, and the Criminalization of Generations! #O22

The Revolution Club Bay Area, the Stop Mass Incarceration Network, and "Uncle Bobby" call on YOU to be part of a national month of resistance against police terror, mass incarceration, repression, and the criminalization of generations


Bob Avakian, "The police, Black youth and what kind of a system is this?"
A clip from Revolution: Why It's Necessary, Why It's Possible, What It's All About, a film of a talk by Bob Avakian given in 2003 in the United States

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/354/all-out-for-october-month-of-resistance-how-long-will-murdering-pigs-continue-to-walk-free-en.html

Revolution #354 September 22, 2014

All Out for the October Month of Resistance!

How Long Will Murdering Pigs Continue to Walk Free?—Grand Jury Lets Murdering Police Walk Free in Ohio!

by Carl Dix | September 25, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

It's been more than two months since the police murder of Eric Garner, and none of the cops who choked him to death have yet been charged for this crime! More than six weeks since the police murder of Michael Brown, and the killer cop has still not been indicted! Now the grand jury reviewing the evidence in the police shooting of John Crawford at an Ohio Walmart has decided not to indict any of the cops who killed him!

The videotape of the murder of Eric Garner, with the cops choking him and ignoring his cries that he couldn't breathe, has been seen by millions, but that hasn't been enough to convince the DA to indict the killers. Witness after witness has told how the cop who killed Michael Brown chased him, shooting as he ran, and then fired the kill shot after Brown had turned around and held his hands up. But again, the killer cop hasn't been charged.

Now we have the cops who killed John Crawford walking free. There's a video of this murder which the authorities refused to release until after the murdering pigs walked. This video shows Crawford carrying a pellet gun walking around the store and talking on a cell phone. Most other customers walk past him unconcerned, but one calls 911 to report a man pointing a gun at customers. The cops come to the Walmart and gun him down within seconds of arriving!

LeeCee Johnson, the mother of Crawford's children, who was talking on the phone to him while this happened, said: “[Crawford] said ‘It’s not real,’ and the police start shooting and they said ‘Get on the ground,’ but he was already on the ground because they had shot him... I could hear him just crying and screaming. I feel like they shot him down like he was not even human.” The attorney for Crawford's family said the police “shot him on sight.”

This is what you get when you "let the system work." It works the same damn way it's always worked, giving a pass to cops who murder Black people! How many times are they gonna slap us in the face, telling us that the lives of our youth don't matter, that their enforcers can murder them with impunity? This must stop, NOW. Not improved incrementally or eased over the next ten years, but stopped right fucking NOW!

We don't need more talk about having a conversation about race. And federal investigations won't do shit about this either. The Department of Justice investigates cases of police murder or police brutality to cool out the people's anger. They investigate for months or even years and then they almost always refuse to bring cases against the brutal, murdering cops.

It's up to us to stop this. Doing that will take revolution, nothing less. We should live in a world where those responsible for public safety would sooner take a bullet themselves than kill or injure an innocent person, and it will certainly take revolution to bring that kind of world into being.

And right now, we need mass determined resistance. Resistance that can put up a huge STOP SIGN to police murder, to mass incarceration and all its consequences right up in the face of U.S. society. And the October Month of Resistance is when we need to make a big leap in the direction of erecting that stop sign.

Everybody with an ounce of justice in their hearts needs to be part of erecting that stop sign to mass incarceration, police terror and the other horrors the criminal “injustice” system enforces on people. They need to take the Pledge of Resistance on October 1, gathering in their neighborhoods, at their schools or at hated symbols of the system's abuses. On October 22, the National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, tens of thousands of people need to take to the streets, with young people who refuse to any longer accept being criminalized and those who've lost loved ones at the hands of the police in the forefront. And throughout October, people need to participate in panels and symposiums on campuses, cultural events and more. October must be the beginning of the end for mass incarceration in the U.S.

 


 

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Revolution #354 September 22, 2014

We received the following from the Stop Mass Incarceration Network:

Memo to the Campus Community
Carl Dix & Family Members of Those Killed by NYPD Available to Speak in Classes, at Student Organizations & Rallies

September 25, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

This generation knows Black and brown youth are walking around with a target on their chests. There's an American epidemic of police murder, and people are standing up in outrage. Bring front-line fighters working to stop police brutality and mass incarceration to your classroom or organization's meeting, as a month of protest & resistance jumps off across the U.S.

“From July 17, when the NYPD killed Eric Garner with an illegal choke-hold, to August 17, police killed 59 people in the U.S. That's an epidemic of almost 2 people every day. We don't need a conversation about race—we need mass resistance to these injustices. The October Month of Resistance will mobilize tens of thousands of people in demonstrations, panels on campuses, cultural events, sermons in religious institutions and more, putting a big stop sign to these horrors right in the face of US society,” says Dix.

Carl Dix is a co-founder, with Dr. Cornel West, of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network, and has spent his life opposing injustice. He is a representative of the Revolutionary Communist Party. In 1970, Carl was one of the Fort Lewis 6, the largest mass refusal to go to Vietnam by U.S. soldiers during that war. He spent two years in a U.S. military prison for this stand. Carl has been a leader in the fight against police terror and of the annual October 22 marches to stop police brutality. In 2011, he and Cornel West called for mass, nonviolent protest at NYC police precincts with the highest rates of “stop and frisk,” contributing to mass public opposition to the practice.

Along with Dr. West, Carl put out the Call for the October 2014 Month of Resistance to Mass Incarceration, Police Terror, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation. In August Carl joined mass protest in Ferguson, Missouri against the police murder of Michael Brown, and was arrested while standing with the “defiant ones” on the first night of the national guard mobilization there.

Nicholas Heyward & Juanita Young are founders of NYC's Parents Against Police Brutality. Both of their children were shot and killed by NYPD; Nicholas Heyward Jr. in 1994, and Malcolm Ferguson in 2000, with no prosecution of the shooters. They are leading the fight for an end to police murder, seeking justice not only for their own families, but for all whose family members’ lives have been stolen.

Iris Baez' son Anthony Baez was killed in 1995 by an NYPD officer who was only prosecuted after tremendous protest and struggle.

Phone: 347-979-7646 * eMail: stopmassincarceration@gmail.com

 


 

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Revolution #354 September 22, 2014

Updated September 28, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

The following call for funds needs to reach many thousands of people in the next few weeks:

IF you burn with rage about the generations of youth in the U.S. and around the world who have no prospects for a future fit for human beings...

IF you are sick to death with a society and culture that promotes and rewards selfishness, that celebrates surviving and thriving at the expense of others...

IF your desire for something truly emancipating to emerge on this planet is great enough for you to move out of your comfort zone and focus on the biggest questions bound up with changing the world...

Then you need to be in New York City on November 15 for the historic Dialogue between Cornel West and Bob Avakian, REVOLUTION AND RELIGION: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion.

But you need to do more. This fall, you have an opportunity to help open people’s eyes to the possibility of a whole different world. Tell everyone you know that this Dialogue is happening and donate funds—dig deeply and give generously—so this event can have the impact it MUST have.

This Dialogue will be a rare opportunity to hear Bob Avakian live and in person. He has been fighting for the people for 50 years and leading the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA for nearly the last 40 of those. He has taken the understanding of how to make revolution, and how to keep a revolutionary society on the path to full emancipation, to a new level. BA has come up against repression and suppression, and endured slander and sacrifice in doing so. And through all that time his deep commitment to the people has never wavered and, indeed, has grown stronger. He is the author of many books, including Away With All Gods! Unchaining the Mind and Radically Changing the World. (To get a fuller sense of BA, check out the article “Watching Fruitvale Station with Bob Avakian” at revcom.us.)

Cornel West is widely recognized as one of the most important and provocative public intellectuals of our time. Coming out of the religious prophetic tradition, he has been fighting for the people for decades—“speaking truth to power,” defending those on the bottom of society, and lending support and often front-line involvement to key protests and resistance. He plays a unique and invaluable role in the political and moral life of this country. And Cornel West connects very deeply with those who most hunger for liberation—“the least of these.”

This Dialogue is about revolution and religion. It will touch on the deepest questions of what it means to be human. Just think of everything that is bound up with religion, spirituality, the moral dimension and how people see that relating to revolution and getting free. This is a question affecting the lives of billions in the world, including those at the bottom of society who would have to be and would be in the front ranks of any revolution worth fighting.

These two people are coming together from different perspectives with largeness of mind and generosity of spirit, with sincerity and heart and deep unity about the need to be rid of centuries of oppression at the earliest possible time.

All this speaks volumes to the uniqueness and importance of this exchange.

Think about it: When was the last time there was a program like this on a major public stage where two people—of this stature and with this depth—were talking about the fight for human emancipation?

And Cornel West and Bob Avakian are taking the public stage together with the full comprehension that doing so is not risk-free. There are those who do not want this subject aired so publicly and unabashedly—they fear the potential of revolutionary understanding connecting with broad sections of society, including with those whose daily existence cries out for radical change. And they hate and vilify those who have refused to give up and give in but, to the contrary, have dared to lead.

You need to step up too. Tens of thousands of dollars are needed to make it possible for this Dialogue to have the kind of impact needed. Along with putting on the event, there is the need to advertise in print, on the Internet, and to as many media outlets as possible. The news of this Dialogue needs to reach broadly and deeply throughout society, penetrating academia, religious communities, social movements, the ghettos and barrios of this country, and out to the suburbs. And most especially this has to reach the younger generation, those opening their eyes and stepping into political life on campuses and among those who catch hell every day. Funds are also needed to help pay for travel and event tickets for what will be an extremely important section of the audience: the most oppressed sections of this society, especially the youth.

Dig deep and donate generously. If $5 or even $1 is a major sacrifice for you given your life conditions, this is a cause to put that toward, and you will be part of thousands just like you around the country who will be doing likewise. If you have the ability to give more, then do so—$200, $500, $1,000, or $10,000. The more that is raised, the more powerfully this Dialogue can impact the terrain.

We sit at an important juncture in the world. Will things continue to hurtle rapidly backwards while people’s hopes and dreams stay confined to the world as it is? This Dialogue can be a major part of changing what people are thinking about, debating, dreaming, and how they see their lives. It will go up against all those who say this is the best of all possible worlds, that you should just make peace with what is, find your place in it, or even get a piece of the plunder for yourself.

Supporting this dialogue is where your funds can make a real difference—isn’t it time to move beyond giving to projects that amount to window dressing on a burning house on top of a rotten foundation, or to piling fortunes into the killing confines of the election cycle where the “lesser evil” in reality continues the same evil that needs to be stopped? Instead, contribute to putting the question of fundamental change before the eyes of society.

There is nothing more important right now than making this possible. Attend the Dialogue, help spread the word about it, introduce people to who Bob Avakian is and what he is all about, and build broad and deep support.

And make the greatest financial donation you possibly can and call on others to do the same.

You have a role to play in daring to change the world.

~~~~~~~~~~

Make your donation to one of the following Sponsors of this Dialogue. In the memo line put "for the Cornel West/Bob Avakian Dialogue." (At The Bob Avakian Institute, the memo line is available when you confirm your payment):

The Bob Avakian Institute

Donate online.

Mail checks or money orders to:
The Bob Avakian Institute  OR  The BA Institute (either name is acceptable)
1016 W. Jackson Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60607

Please be aware that The Bob Avakian Institute is not tax exempt and contributions made to it are not tax deductible. If you are a resident of these states: Georgia, Michigan, & Washington D.C. online donations cannot be accepted from residents of these states. The Bob Avakian Institute is sorry for the inconvenience. At this time, The Bob Avakian Institute can actively solicit donations from residents of the following states: Arizona, California, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Texas, Vermont, Washington, Wyoming. All gifts (donations) from these states are greatly appreciated. Residents of these same states can donate online.

Revolution Books, New York

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Mail checks or money orders to:
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