Revolution #358 October 20, 2014
OCTOBER 22: PULL OUT ALL THE STOPS!
October 20, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us
For everyone who sees and is sickened by the epidemic of police terror and mass incarceration, or can be won to see and oppose it, and wants it to stop—October 22 IS THE DAY TO ACT.
Police kill someone almost everyday in the USA! This past August, Michael Brown was gunned down by police in Ferguson, Missouri, and people's refusal to accept these outrages reached a new level of courage and defiance and jolted millions across the country. There's a growing wave of resistance to police murder, mass incarceration, and the whole genocidal program driving them. Thousands turned out for Ferguson October (October 10-13). Campuses are beginning to come alive with actions and teach-ins. Clergy have raised their voices. Artistic expressions against police terror have mushroomed—in poetry, videos, tweets, books, magazines, artwork, and music. And many individuals and organizations have taken up the call for the October 22 National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation.
Let's bring all this together for a massive outpouring on October 22!
In these last few days, reach and challenge all whose sights were raised by Ferguson—be there on October 22!
Reach and reinforce the cores of activists who have come forward in the high schools, mass distribute stickers and whistles, and forge and cohere new, committed cores—right on the spot around "All out for October 22!"
Reconnect with, call forth, inspire, and organize all who've come to strategizing meetings, signed the Call for the October Month of Resistance, or thrown in, in any kind of way, during this month of struggle and ferment, to be there on October 22 and to bring others with them.
Even in these last few days, reach out to Black student organizations and students active around Palestine, the environment, gender oppression, and other burning questions about October 22 and why they need to be there...
In these next few days, we must make known to people that October 22 is a way for them to express their feelings with focus and determination... to walk out of school, take off work, bring their defiance and righteous demand for justice into the streets for all to see, and be part of making October 22 a giant STOP sign right in the face of all society, declaring MASS INCARCERATION, POLICE TERROR, REPRESSION AND THE CRIMINALIZATION OF A GENERATION MUST BE STOPPED!
We're aiming to change the political terrain—the ways that thousands upon thousands see, think, and act in relation to the rulers' immoral, illegitimate, intolerable genocidal program of mass incarceration.
If, over the next three days, we pull out all the stops to do all this and bring people together for powerful demonstrations in the streets...
Then October 22 will be what it urgently needs to be.
Revolution #358 October 20, 2014
"All Out for October 22... It's up to us to stop these horrors"
October 18, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us
Revolution/Revcom.us: The October 22 National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation is coming up in a few days, this coming Wednesday. It feels like it's going to be—and has to be—more powerful and impactful than ever. What do people need to understand and do leading up to the day?
Carl Dix: What we need to get is where we are and what's happening as we approach this 19th annual October 22 National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation. The thing is, this is a time when there is growing resistance to the horrors of police murder, mass incarceration, the torture in prisons, and treating youth as criminals all across the country. Ferguson October—October 10-13—concentrated this. It brought together people from all across the county who are seeing these horrors and want to stand up and say No More! to police murder and all these outrages, and to stop them.
At the same time these horrors are intensifying. On October 8, as people were taking part in the Month of Resistance to Mass Incarceration, Police Terror, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation and preparing to go forward to October 22, police in St. Louis gunned down another Black youth, Vonderitt Myers. Again, this is no isolated incident. Police murders are happening all over the country on more than a daily basis. And then there's the torture in prisons across the country that's being exposed—from Rikers Island in New York City, to guards in Florida brutalizing and killing prisoners, to the ongoing torture of solitary confinement and denial of medical care that's going on in California. And there's the ongoing, everyday criminalization and vilification of the youth in order to justify these horrors.
These horrors are built into the fabric of U.S. society, and it's gonna take revolution to end them and all the other horrors this system enforces on people here and around the world, once and for all. And right now, there is a crying need for everybody who sees these horrors for what they are to throw in and bring about a major leap in the level of resistance to them, a leap there is very real potential to make. This is about changing the way millions of people look at, think about, and act—to the point they see these outrages as illegitimate, immoral, and intolerable—and that they're not going to tolerate them any longer! And that kind of transformation of thinking and acting is going to be part of preparing for and bringing closer the day when we can make revolution, defeat and dismantle the murderous, repressive forces of this system, and end these outrages.
Rising Resistance... But a Real Leap Needed
Revolution/Revcom.us: So things are changing, there's real potential, but the level of resistance that exists now still isn't what it needs to be?
Carl Dix: Yes, that's right. It's very good that people are fighting, that they're responding when police murder somebody. But it can't be left as individual, separate, city-by-city fights for justice every time someone is gunned down. Or leaving it at sympathy and support between these different battles. It has to become a nationwide movement that is bringing people together to stand up and say No More! to these horrors, a movement that's putting up a huge STOP sign right in the face of U.S. society. A movement that's letting all those who know this is happening and refuse to continue suffering, or refuse to stand by in silence, letting them know there's a movement they can be a part of.
This is a movement that would impact those who had been unaware of these outrages, a movement that would help open their eyes to them, and to the fact that tens of thousands are taking them on and forging a movement that those newly awakened to all that can join in.
What has to come through in action on October 22 is the spirit of No More! That police murder and brutality, repression, and the criminalization of a generation are illegitimate, immoral, and unacceptable, and that we're acting to stop them in the way the defiant youth in Ferguson poured into the streets demanding Justice for Michael Brown and withstood everything the authorities threw at them.
What has to come through on October 22 is the way youth in different parts of the country are beginning to take up the whistle and blowing whistles on cops who are brutalizing and harassing people. This has got to be the spirit of October 22 and the spirit that fights through the attempts to suppress resistance and divert it off into harmless channels—like the attempt of the authorities in New York City to deny the October 22 protest permits to march into Times Square.
Permit Battle in New York City
Revolution/Revcom.us: That sounds like a very important battle right now.
Carl Dix: It's very important. O22 in New York City is going to be a day of no business as usual—don't go to work, walk out of high school, be in Union Square at 1:00 pm to gather and march to Times Square, where, before the eyes of the world, we're going to declare:
No more to police murder!
No more to police terror!
No more to treating our youth as criminals!
And this will reverberate nationally and globally.
Right now the authorities are saying: '"Uh, uh. You can't come into Times Square. You can come close, but you can't come into Times Square."
This is saying, in essence: "We will choke Eric Garner to death. Our cops will gun down Ramarley Graham, Sean Bell, Malcolm Ferguson, Anthony Baez, Amadou Diallo. And many, many more people. We will brutalize you with impunity. And then we'll tell you whether you can protest, when you can protest, where you can protest, and how you can protest against us having done all that."
This message is unacceptable! And we have to throw it back in their faces.
Those exact terms are being taken up and spread broadly among everybody who's not only active around justice but concerned about justice. They're being called on to step into this battle and deluge the NYPD and City Hall with opposition to their stand on October 22, and to demand that the October 22 Coalition be granted a full permit to march to Times Square! And lawyers are being called on to take this into court.
Everybody needs to be part of rejecting the NYPD's outrageous and unacceptable message—"we can kill with impunity and then tell people—you can't speak out or resist." Tweet at or write to or call the NYPD and the mayor's office and demand the permit to march into Times Square be granted. And people need to be getting ready to take to the streets on this coming Wednesday, October 22, because we're going to win this permit fight, we're going to be in the streets that day and everybody needs to be there.
So if you watched that video of the police choking Eric Garner to death and it hit you like a punch in the gut....and if you heard about the murder of Michael Brown and it hit you like "oh no, not again," then we have to actually stand up and act to make it so that this no longer happens. All out for October 22—here in New York City and all over the country! That's a crucial part of doing that.
From Now till October 22—What Should People Do?
Revolution/Revcom.us: Between now and October 22, what should people be doing? How should they be organizing folks to turn out?
Carl Dix: There are several things. One—spread the word. Go to stopmassincarceration.net and revcom.us, and people will find materials they can download, reproduce, and spread, including links to articles, videos and audio recordings that speak to why people need to be out on October 22 and what difference it will make. So these need to be spread. They'll also find things like "Gather," the poem Alice Walker wrote to me and Cornel West, the video of Chuck D taking the Pledge of Resistance, and messages from relatives who have lost loved ones to police brutality. All these should be spread everywhere.
Second, people also need to contribute money. Freedom ain't free, and fighting for freedom ain't free. So far it's cost us several tens of thousands of dollars to go to hot spots like Ferguson, to print materials, and to buy and spread whistles for the "Blow the Whistle" campaign—among many other things. And we have to raise a lot more money. So people should go to the indiegogo crowd funding effort that the Stop Mass Incarceration Network has launched.
Third, get your friends, the people you go to school with, your neighbors, and everyone else you know—get your whistles, make your signs, pull your contingents together, and hit the streets on O22. If you're not sure if anything is happening in your area, go to the October 22 Points of Assembly page and find out where to hook up and join in. If nothing is happening where you are, then plan something and do it. And when you do it—take pictures, take video, write up your stories, and email them to the firstname.lastname@example.org to email@example.com because we want everyone to see what's happening across the country, and that there are tens of thousands acting to stop these horrors.
What Will The Day After Look Like?
Revolution/Revcom.us: What do you think the world will look like on October 23, the day after October 22?
Carl Dix: What the world needs to look like on October 23 is that millions of people will have seen that there were tens of thousands of people who are committed to stopping the horrors of police terror, mass incarceration, and the criminalization and demonization of Black and Latino/a youth. They will have been impacted by the actions of the previous day, and they will be moved by having their eyes further opened to not only the horrors, but that there's a growing movement acting to stop it. That movement will have gotten more of a sense of itself—a movement that brings together those under the gun most directly, along with those who might not be directly facing this kind of direct and everyday brutality, but who find it intolerable. There will be a growing sense that we can work together to change the situation around these outrages. It's not going to be—"well, these abuses are just going to keep happening so all we can do is try and get a little justice." No, the tone is going to be that it's up to us to stop these horrors and that we really can stop them.
And the activities of October 22 will not only be a leap in resistance, but a leap to a growing, much bigger, and more unified movement that then serves as a springboard to go even further. That begins to bring into being the movement of millions that's needed to carry forward the fight to stop police murder and terror, to stop mass incarceration, to stop prison torture, and to stop the criminalization of millions of Black and Latino/a youth, and to put us in the strongest position to be able to get rid of the system that creates all these horrors, and to replace it with something much, much better.
Revolution #358 October 20, 2014
An Open Letter in Defense of the Revolutionary Communist Party
October 20, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us
October 12, 2014
‘‘Not the least formidable of the obstacles blocking the path to Freedom is the anti-Communist hysteria in our country which is deliberately kept alive by the defenders of the status-quo as a barrier to rational thinking on important social questions’’
Jack O’Dell, 12 July 1963; Martin Luther King, Jr. advisor
"The FBI and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr."
Dear Sisters, Brothers, Colleagues, Comrades,
From Ferguson and the Mike Brown rallies, I’m wondering why so much time and money is spent on attempting to quash criticism of capitalism? Put the kibosh on folks who challenge us to think for ourselves and do something about the mayhem that is the capitalist world in which we live? Even more importantly, as Malcolm X warned, how we get tricked into seeing the perpetrator as the victim and the victim as the perpetrator--intentionally or mistakenly--from government stamps and coins to religious tracts, think about it!!!
In 1996, Carl Dix of the RCP co-founded the October 22nd Coalition to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation at a time when few recognized the national epidemic of police murder. It is currently in its 19th year and is to be a high point of Ferguson October, 2014 (October 10-13). At a Center for Constitutional Rights emergency march on Washington against police brutality, it was the Stolen Lives Project banner, listing more than one thousand names of victims of police murder, the first effort to document and combat deaths at the hands of law enforcement that drew me to the selfless workers and victimized families. In 2002, when others were scrambling for a response to the U.S. invasion of Iraq, the RCP launched “Not in Our Name” (NION), and brought out more than 100,000 people across the country to “Pledge Resistance” to the U.S. War on the World. A campaign that attacked what Martin Luther King, Jr. called the “Triple Evils,” racism, materialism, and war.
As Martin Luther King. Jr. noted in his historic 1967 Riverside Church speech, “Time to Break Silence,” “Cowardice asks the question, is it safe? Expediency ask the question, is it politic? Vanity asks the question, is it popular? But, conscience asks the question, is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but one must take it because it is right.” (www.thekingcenter.org/blog/mlk-quote-week-conscience-asks-question)
Today, we say stop red baiting... get on with stopping mass incarceration, police terror, repression and the criminalization a generation. Don’t be distracted by the bullshit. We salute the RCP for its consistent, far-sighted, courageous leadership and urge all to join the much needed NATIONAL MONTH OF RESISTANCE TO MASS INCARCERATION, POLICE TERROR, REPRESSION AND THE CRIMINALIZATION OF A GENERATION, on OCTOBER 22ND NO SCHOOL! NO WORK! NO MORE! WEAR BLACK, BLACK LIVES MATTER!
Efia Nwangaza, Member
National Stop Mass Incarceration Network Steering Committee
Founder and Director
Malcolm X Center / WMXP – 95.5fm Community Radio
Revolution #358 October 20, 2014
Ebola: STOP the XENOPHOBIA
by Alan Goodman | October 20, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us
The current Ebola epidemic in West Africa has killed between 10,000 and 20,000 people in the countries of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. Beyond that, hundreds of thousands have been thrown into a nightmare of the loss of loved ones, round-ups, repression, the absence of basic necessities, and death.
Medical personnel and others from Africa and around the world are putting their lives on the line to care for victims of Ebola in West Africa. They are courageous heroes. Others are demanding or developing resources and education to prevent the spread of Ebola and to treat victims.
But the response of those who rule the United States and the other global powers has overwhelmingly been one of cruel disregard for the suffering in Africa, and instead a focus on preventing this disease from crossing the borders of the U.S. and Europe.
Above: Courageous Heroes: Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) treat 43-year-old Ebola patient in Guinea.
Below: Ignorant xenophobe outside the White House.
Now a man from Liberia who traveled to the U.S. has died from Ebola, and two nurses who treated him have been stricken with the disease. Of course, their lives are also precious, and they deserve good medical care. But when Americans contracted Ebola, and when there appeared to be a danger of Ebola undermining stability within the U.S., those who sit atop the global empire of exploitation and oppression known as the "USA" hit the panic button. NOT to address the massive suffering in Africa in any serious or compassionate way, but to protect the social stability of their system of exploitation and oppression. And the Ebola outbreak is being seized on by fascist forces in the U.S. to whip up XENOPHOBIA—ignorant hatred and fear of immigrants, with an ugly and ominously dangerous edge.
Republicans demand a total ban on travel from West Africa (which among other things would mean that any medical volunteers who join those doing work on the ground there would be going into exile for all practical purposes). Fascist forces are crawling out of the swamps of ignorance and prejudice with their "STOP Immigration" signs. These zombies resurrect irrational fear, hatred, and violence of the kind directed at gay men in the early days of the AIDS epidemic in the U.S. They act as though only American lives matter, even if that means intensifying the suffering of millions, and despite the reality that the fate of humanity is tightly bound up in an intensely interconnected and interdependent world.
The Democrats? They mutter and mumble only the faintest objections to all this, accepting and in their own ways contributing to the atmosphere of persecution of immigrants.
The message from the entire ruling class: American lives count, other people's lives do not.
That morality—that American lives are more important than other people's lives—reflects, serves, and enforces this hellish world of exploitation and oppression. Anyone who isn't a slavish, unthinking, uncaring cheerleader for that hell should be repelled by, and explicitly reject, that immorality.