Revolution #361, November 10, 2014 (

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

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Revolution #361 November 10, 2014

"We're doing a fundraiser so we can take folks to New York City to ... open their eyes to what's really going on"

A Challenge to Match Funds: From Ferguson & St. Louis to the Cornel West & Bob Avakian Dialogue

November 9, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |

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Bake sale fundraiser, St. Louis, for Revolution & Religion Dialogue

Photos: Special to

On Saturday, November 8, a dozen mainly young volunteers organized a bake sale and raised $401 to get people from Ferguson and St. Louis to NYC for the Cornel West-Bob Avakian Dialogue on Revolution & Religion. There was a lot of determination and camaraderie fueling this event, and we are not finished yet! We are calling on YOU to contribute and go to others to raise matching funds right now.

A young woman volunteer said: "We're doing a fundraiser so we can take folks to New York City basically to educate the uneducated and have them open their eyes to what's really going on... we are low-income... We need help... Doctors, dentists, gynecologists.... they have money to do that. What can you contribute to help us show others what we are seeing?"

The crew included people who have been the heart of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network chapter and helped organize October 22 actions; people who have been on the frontlines of the battle for justice for Mike Brown in Ferguson; a whole family including two teens; as well as people who only heard about the bake sale fundraiser the day before, one of whom spent all day Friday baking to make this a success.

The bake sale at Tower Grove Park on the south side of St. Louis was a high-energy, magnetic, and boisterous scene! It started out looking a little iffy. As 9 am rolled around, it was cold, grey, and windy, with sparse traffic. But tenaciousness and the infectious energy of the volunteers—later the sun broke out from behind the clouds—saved the day.

Bake sale in St. Louis to send people to Revolution & Religion Dialogue

Two tables with baked goods and signs were set up at a busy intersection. An organizer in an orange jumpsuit weaved in and out of traffic distributing palm cards and collecting funds. Volunteers blew whistles and addressed passing cars and pedestrians on a bullhorn. "Homemade cookies, sweet potato pies, and red velvet cake!" "Support people from Ferguson and St. Louis to be in the house for the Cornel West-Bob Avakian Dialogue on revolution and religion!" "Support Ferguson!" A young volunteer on the bullhorn challenged people to stand up to modern day slavery and institutionalized racism, while welcoming people and thanking them for donating. She also agitated that the youth in the streets need an intellectual dimension for the fight.

This event was pulled off in three days. It took determination, serious organization, and an appreciation that we could win support from people who didn't yet have a clue about the West-Avakian Dialogue. The first plan for a fish fry and BBQ crashed when we ran up against the notorious St. Louis north county codes that outlaw just about everything. We tried to get a table at a race to raise funds for the homeless happening that morning in Tower Grove Park. This ultimately didn't work out, but it represented the spirit of reaching out to everyone that needs to know about the Dialogue and could be supportive. We approached a popular café that is a center of the LGBT and wider progressive community in St. Louis. The owner offered crucial support, including providing coffee and tables, as well as encouragement and ideas, to make the bake sale a big success. Volunteers took photos on the spot and tweeted them out to spread the word and drum up support.

St. Louis, bake sale to raise funds for Cornel West/Bob Avakian Dialogue on Revolution and Religion

The response from passersby was very positive. Tower Grove Park is near the site of the police murder of VonDerrit Myers, which occurred only a month ago. This sparked nightly protest marches and drew in activists from Ferguson and drew out neighborhood residents, both Black and white. Bake sale support came from a diverse range of people, including people going to a nearby salon and others waiting for the bus, couples pushing strollers, students and seniors, regulars at the nearby café, a group visiting St. Louis who are part of a Kentucky Stop Mass Incarceration Network chapter, and a teacher from the high school that Mike Brown attended. Some knew of Cornel West, but few knew about the November15 Dialogue before we met them.

Here is what some of the bake sale volunteers had to say:

"I think there is a lot of value in ... talking about an issue such as this [revolution and religion]. It's a particularly interesting concept ... with religion having issues of being dogmatic, but also trying to consolidate on how to be religious and not abide systems of oppression when trying to battle systems of oppression on a grand scale. And anything supporting Ferguson."

"Raising money to help the youth go to NY and be part of this very important movement and, as a mother from St Louis, I can contribute by baking and helping them raise some funds to do that, that's why I'm here."

"I am out here in support for [Stop] Mass Incarceration because I truly do believe in supporting a cause that wants to stop mass incarceration and the brutalization of all people. Right now, the majority is the minority race, so I'm here because I support the movement of love and peace for all people and support our bake sale. Thanks"

A volunteer who was barely a kid growing up in the St. Louis projects in the 1960s, and who has been a stalwart in the Mike Brown protests, said he was here to represent for the youth. He emphasized that people like him had to take responsibility because we didn't finish the job in the '60s and that youth today "got the energy, but need the knowledge."

"I'm here supporting the Revolution and Religion seminar with Cornel West and Bob Avakian. We're also here supporting the Mike Brown case. We're raising money to go to New York and hear this seminar... We would love it if someone would match our $400. That would be great. ... I'm going to go to NY to get my mind blown, and ya'll need to get your mind blown too."




Revolution #361 November 10, 2014

From A World to Win News Service:

Mexico: Struggle builds for the 43 disappeared Ayotzinapa students

November 10, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


November 3, 2014. A World to Win News Service. In Mexico, the second "Stop the War on the People National Week of Resistance" ended 26 October with a march through poor and working class neighbourhoods in towns near the capital. A major focus of the week's activities and the country's brewing political crisis was the police kidnapping of 43 Ayotzinapa Teachers' College students in Iguala 26 September, when police and civilians also shot and killed six people. The week began with a forum at the National University (UNAM) spotlighting the federal government's role in this crime, the murders of Central American immigrants passing through Mexico and the "femincides"—the monstrous wave of women being killed or disappeared in the northern border state of Juarez.

Activities also included a film showing about the struggle for the right to abortion, a rally against violence against women and a reading of a monologue about the roles patriarchal society imposes on them, a memorial to a UNAM political activist murdered three years ago, and an evening of rap and hip-hop "to denounce the government and the capitalist system, and call for resistance and for people to raise their head to continue struggling and advance toward the revolutionary change humanity needs."

The National Resistance Network in Mexico sent a solidarity message to the "Month of Resistance to Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation" in the United States.

A broad and expanding spectrum of people is propelling the movement to demand that the students be brought back alive, or their fate explained. For portraits of the 43 and other visual statements by dozens of artists, see

The following is a slightly abridged article, "14 crimes and lies by the federal government in the Ayotzinapa case", from Aurora Roja, blog of the Revolutionary Communist Organization (OCR) of Mexico. ( in Spanish).

The facts demonstrate that the federal government, headed by President Enrique Peña Nieto and the armed forces, cooperated with the massacre of six people in Iguala and the disappearance of the 43 students from the Ayotzinapa Teachers' College; and since then they have been lying and covering up the facts about this brutal crime. At times they have gone so far as to try, absurdly, to implicate these students in organized crime activities, even though students have had to beg for money just to be able to pay their school expenses. No matter what, the authorities insist, the responsibility for what happened lies purely with the Iguala mayor, whom they helped conveniently drop out of sight.

What are the facts?

1. The army openly cooperated with the massacre: The 27th Infantry Battalion never tried to stop the shooting and hunting down of the students during the night of 26 September in Iguala, even though that was their legal duty. They let the shooting go on for over an hour, and two or more students were kidnapped from almost in front of their barracks. When the army ventured out onto the streets three hours later, after a second attack in which two more students were killed, it was to harass the victims of this crime. They approached a group of students who were carrying their classmate, Edgar Andres Vargas, critically wounded in the mouth, to a private clinic. "They showed up with their guns locked and loaded, roughing us up, confiscating our mobiles and cursing at us. They searched all three floors of the hospital... and wouldn't let the on-duty doctor take care of Edgar. The bastards kept saying, 'You're going to have to deal with real men now. Don't bawl!' The student almost died because they wouldn't let him get medical treatment. And they snapped at the students, 'You asked for it,' clearly justifying the massacre. When they demanded that the students give their names, the soldiers threatened that they had better give their real names or no one was going be able to find them, threatening to make them disappear, as had happened to their classmates." (Sources: interview by Blanche Petrich, La Jornada online, 11 October 2014; Guadalupe Lizarraga, Los Angeles Press online, 30 September 2014. Eyewitness account of a student on Carmen Aristegui's show, 30 October 2014)

2. Possible participation of federal agents in covering up the attacks: Who were the "armed men in civilian clothing" who shot at the students during the two attacks in Iguala, in one instance when they killed three students and wounded more than 20 more, and the other on the Santa Teresa roadway, leading to the death of a young football player, the team's bus driver and a woman going by in a taxi? It's possible that they were not just local police and a few drug gang gunmen, as the government claimed. Their appearance and behaviour are consistent with that of the Federal Police when they carry out "undercover" operations, like the attack that killed 35 people in Veracruz when a Marine death squad pretended to be from the Jalisco drug cartel. On many occasions when the Mexican state's forces have murdered, tortured and disappeared activists and other innocent people, the state has presented these attacks as the work of "organized crime". It is also well known that the state uses its narcotics police to eliminate any kind of political opposition, as was the case with the murder of two polling place observers for the National Democratic Front during the 1988 presidential elections. (Sources: articles in various newspapers on 27 and 28 September 2014; Proceso, No. 1821; Anabel Hernández, Los senores del narco, p. 195)

3. The federal and state government knew about the massacre from the start but they let it continue: Another fact that suggests the possible participation of federal and/or state agents in the massacre is that the state police and army confronted these same students in Chilpancingo a few hours before the Iguala attack, stopping the youth from commandeering buses there, and knowing that they were heading to Iguala. Isn't it probable that they at least informed their colleagues in 'ala to harass the students there? In any case, then Guerrero state governor, Angel Aguirre, admitted that he knew about the attack in Iguala right away, as did the federal attorney general and the army (which obviously knew about it through the 27th Infantry Battalion stationed there). They all decided not to intervene and let the attacks continue. (Sources: La Jornada print edition, 26 October 2014, p. 6; "Carta abierta desde el extranjero", #AyotzinapaSomosTodos).

4. They deliberately let Mayor Jose Luis Abarca escape: The state and federal authorities made sure that the people they accuse of being behind this crime had plenty of time to escape. No arrest warrants were issued for the mayor, his wife and the chief of police until 26 days after the crime. Isn't that because the higher authorities were afraid of being implicated by these heartless criminals? (Sources: press conference by federal prosecutor Jesús Murillo Karam, 22 October 2014, Boletin, 198/14).

5. The federal government refuses to recognize this case as one of forced disappearance: The representative of the UN Human Rights Commission declared that the three elements constituting a case of forced disappearance had been established within 72 hours, legally obligating the federal government to intervene. He also recommended an "investigation of why the army and state police did not defend these youth, since the 27th Infantry Battalion was in the Iguala city centre at that moment, and the state government of Angel Aguirre knew about the attack in real time." Obviously, they didn't want an investigation, for fear of what it might bring to light. (Source: La Jornada online, 21 October 2014)

6. The government is indulgent toward murderer police: Even though the government acknowledges that the municipal police shot at the students and carried off the disappeared in patrol cars, the arrested officers have not been accused of homicide or forced disappearance, just organized delinquency and "illegal deprivation of liberty". (Source: La Jornada, print edition, 24 October 2014, p. 4)

7. They have tried to sabotage the investigations: Federal and state forensic experts deliberately violated international protocols for exhuming bodies. The UN Human Rights Commission representative declared that the lack of respect for international protocols would make it difficult or impossible to obtain reliable DNA evidence (from the bodies dug up in the first few weeks). Members of human rights organizations criticized the fact that the site had not been protected and that neither the site nor the remains had been properly photographed. The bodies remained in plastic bags without refrigeration for a long time, and their identification numbers had been poorly placed, making it harder to determine where they were found. (Source: La Jornada online, 21 October 2014, and print edition, 6 October, p. 3)

8. The work of the forensic anthropology investigation team from Argentina was obstructed, so that they were not able to take part in the exhumation of the corpses. The Public Ministry official in charge of the appropriate Guerrero state body refused to grant them accreditation and the local Public Ministry refused to sign off on the custody chain for the DNA samples taken by the Argentine team and family members. (Source: Blanche Petrich, La Jornada online, 11 October 2014, p. 3)

9. The federal prosecutor's office has repeatedly changed its story with no explanation. On 5 October, it was announced that six clandestine mass graves had been found (although later they said five), thanks to the confessions of four people who were arrested, and that 28 bodies had been found in them. The government strongly implied that these were the bodies of the disappeared students. Then, on 9 October, federal prosecutor Murillo Karam announced in a press conference that the arrest of another four people the day before had led to the finding of another four mass graves "presumably containing the remains of another 15 students." Apparently, the prosecutor's "presumption" that the rest of the students would be found in this second group of graves was based on nothing more than subtracting 28 from the total of 43 disappeared to come up with 15. Then, on 14 October, the prosecutor announced that none of the 28 bodies dug up in the first five clandestine mass graves was consistent with "the DNA that the families of these young people have given us" (although the Argentine team had not yet announced its conclusions on that subject), and that in the second group of graves "no bodies were found." He didn't give the slightest explanation for why the so-called testimony of various presumed witnesses, which he had made such a big deal about, turned out to be false in his new version of events. Nor did he express the slightest interest in finding out the identities of the people whose bodies were found burned and buried, or who committed these horrible crimes. Now, once again, we are told that two newly arrested people provided key clues so that a search for clandestine mass graves can be carried out in another area, and at the same time that the investigation is being "reoriented" to "find them alive". They are making a big show with drones, search teams and rewards, and so far, they have come up with nothing. The only thing clear in all of this is that the federal government is more interested in covering up the facts than in investigating them. (Sources: La Jornada, print edition, 10 October and 15 October 2014, p. 3; Proceso online, 14 October 2014, article by Marcela Turati)

10. The government has impeded a serious investigation of the disappeared: The federal and state government have not checked the location data for the mobiles of the disappeared students, although the parents have insisted that they should. Repeatedly, the army or federal police have blocked the efforts of the Union of Guerrero Peoples and Organizations (UPOEG), forbidding them to look for more mass graves or investigate those they have found. On 23 October, the lawyer for the UPOEG leadership announced that they had found "26 probable mass grave sites" in the area around Monte Horeb, in Iguala township, and that in six of these sites they had found "remains of bones, hair and backpacks." The lawyer also revealed that UPOEG members had received threatening phone calls demanding that they give up the search. A day later, experts working for the federal prosecutor's office replied that the area had already been investigated and human remains exhumed the previous week, but the UPOEG insisted that they had found "freshly buried flesh" and that the area reeked of "a foul odour, an unbearable stench of recently dumped corpses", and that "neighbours said that as late as a few nights ago, they still heard moaning." (Sources: La Jornada, 24 October, print edition, p. 7; and 25 October, p. 3)

11. A "sea of secret mass graves" and the story of other people disappeared by the army: As a leader of the Iguala Front for Dignity and Respect for Life (FIDRV) says, "Iguala is a city surrounded by a sea of secret mass graves." The state and federal authorities knew about generalized massacres long before 26 September, and it was no surprise to "find" mass graves. Graves with 19 bodies were dug up last May, and since January 2014, 81 corpses have appeared, without counting the 28 exhumed 5 October, and doubtlessly there are many more. The fact that the army is guilty of at least some of these previous murders was documented in a recent AP report regarding a 2010 incident when the army disappeared Francis García Orozco, 32, and Vladimir Lenin Pita, 17. Witnesses and a video document that the two were carried off by soldiers while transporting the sound system for a nightclub in a fairground. The two are still missing and the crime remains unpunished. (Sources: La Jornada, print edition, 23 October 2014, p. 5; "Hunt for 43 Students Highlights Mexico's Missing", Associated Press online, 22 October 2014; Sanjuana Martinez, La Jornada online, 19 October 2014). Further, millions of people are now aware that the army executed 21 youth who had surrendered to them in Tlatlaya, in the State of Mexico. There is no room for doubt—the armed forces are murdering many people in cold blood, especially lower-class youth and activists such as the Ayotzinapa students.

12. The federal government knew about Mayor Abarca's previous crimes and covered them up: The federal government is also responsible for the murders and disappearances because it covered up the murder of Arturo Hernandez and two other comrades of the Iguala People's United Front (UPI) on 30 May 2013. Murillo Karam and Interior Minister Osorio Chong denied having any knowledge of these murders, but that's a crude lie. The case was widely exposed on the Web; Arturo Hernandez's wife accused Mayor Abarca of having committed these murders; and a kidnapping survivor testified that he saw Abarca personally kill Hernandez with a shot to the head and another in the chest. This eyewitness gave a sworn statement to a notary public in the Federal District and repeated it to an agency of the Public Ministry in March 2014. The Decade of Impunity Solidarity Network (RSDIAC), headed by Bishop Raúl Vera López, had been demanding that the attorney general open a case against Abarca for more than a year before the attack on the Ayotzinapa students in Iguala. The Attorney General's office told RSDIAC members that they "didn't want to take action against the Iguala mayor because he had jurisdiction". And now they want to tell us that they never knew anything about this matter?! Raúl Vera said that the kidnapping of eight People's United Front members and the killing of three of them is a precedent that explains what happened to the Ayotzinapa students: "Here we have a situation in which clearly the priority is to cover up everything.—Abarca kidnapped, tortured and murdered, and nothing happened. Now they're going after police, but we want an exposure of the bigshots who are responsible." (Source: Arturo Rodriguez Garcia, "El Estado se convirtió en una 'institución criminal'", Proceso, 12 October 2014.

13. Excuses for the murderers, criminalization of the victims: Federal prosecutor Murillo Karam's 22 October press conference is an example of his defence of the Iguala authorities and police, and the federal government's efforts to criminalize the students. He didn't take into consideration any of the testimony of the assaulted students; everything he said was based on the "testimony" of police, municipal civil servants, hired gunmen and the supposed leaders of the Guerreros Unidos drug cartel. He lied when he said that the reason for the attack was "to keep the students from 'sabotaging' the party [hosted by the mayor's wife]." The first attack began when the students had already passed by the venue, without getting out of the buses or even stopping, and they were about to leave the city. Police vehicles blocked the road and didn't let them leave. Thus the prosecutor painted a brutal massacre almost as if it were an act of self-defence on the part of the local authorities. He also implied that the Guerreros Unidos were just defending their territory against "rival criminals". (Source: press conference by Murillo Karam, 22 October 2014, Boletin, 198/14)

14. The federal government continues assaulting and torturing people since the federal police took over public (in)security in Iguala, invading villages, beating and torturing many people, and carrying away many people they accused of ties with drug trafficking. (Sources: La Jornada, print edition, 25 October 2014, p. 3, and 29 October, p. 5.)

In short, not just the Iguala municipal government and its police, but also the state and federal governments and their police and armed forces are murderers, torturers and kidnappers—and totally illegitimate.


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.




Revolution #361 November 10, 2014


Updated November 24, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |




The word is now being floated that some time soon there will be a decision from the grand jury in Ferguson that will let the cop who murdered Mike Brown walk free. This would mean that the cop who shot Mike Brown in the head as Mike held his hands in the air 30 feet away, the cop who was never even arrested, would walk free. That would be a total OUTRAGE!

To the powers-that-be, the facts of the case do not matter and they never did. The only thing that made them even think about backing up at all was the way that people in Ferguson rebelled, joined by many thousands around the country. The powers must not be allowed to go ahead with this whitewash and then jam it down people’s throats with no resistance, or just some token “protest.” Now is not the time to negotiate with the pigs about how to “keep the peace”—the only peace they accept is one where people are kept walking around in circles, going nowhere. Now is not the time for bootlickers to talk about “policing ourselves” and to cooperate with police to repress, assault, and arrest those protestors who they decide are “out of line.” All this kind of talk just accepts that these monsters can do what they want. NO! ANY FAILURE TO INDICT DARREN WILSON IS TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE AND MUST BE MET WITH RESISTANCE. THEY MUST NOT DARE TO WHITEWASH THIS MURDER AND LET THIS PIG WALK FREE WITH NO CHARGES!! AND THEY MUST NOT BE ALLOWED TO GET AWAY WITH IT!!

If the authorities do dare to announce such an outrage... if they dare to call this crime a “justifiable homicide”... then there has to be a giant NO! on the very day they announce it. NO! to the murder of Mike Brown. NO! to the whitewash of his killer. NO! to the whole way this system does Black and Latino people, from cradle to the way-too-early grave. NO! NO! NO!!!

And... there also has to be a Yes through our actions. Yes, to fighting the horrors of genocidal mass incarceration and police murder, and to building a stronger movement to end this. Yes, to shaking off and shattering these chains—physical and mental. Yes, to fighting together with people all over the world to get free, not for a bigger cut of the American pie. Yes, to looking for REAL solutions, to getting with the Revolution... to preparing the ground, preparing the people, and preparing the vanguard for the time when millions can be led to go for revolution, all-out, with a real chance to win.





Revolution #361 November 10, 2014

Paramount, California:
Oscar Ramirez—Killed by Police While Breaking Up a Fight

November 10, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


From readers:

Near the railroad tracks behind Paramount High School, a green poster flapped in the wind: "R.I.P. Oscar Alberto Ramirez," it read. "Loved and Never Forgotten. Love, your baby sister." Oscar Ramirez, 28, was shot and killed by a Los Angeles County Sheriff near the high school in Paramount, a city southeast of Los Angeles, on Monday, October 27. His life was stolen by the sheriffs, based on a rumor.

According to the Long Beach Press Telegram, detectives got a tip that a possible fight was pending and that one of the people involved had a handgun. Sheriffs responding to this tip saw Oscar Ramirez and two other youths near the railroad tracks behind Paramount High School. The youths ran. A deputy opened fire, killing Oscar, who was unarmed. News reports did not say that deputies saw a fight, only that Oscar and others "fit the description" given by an informant. No gun was found, although deputies reportedly searched the area for a week.

Oscar's family called a protest at the sheriff's station. Oscar's older brother, Kristian, said that Oscar was trying to break up a fight when he was killed. "Shooting someone. My mom's birthday is Friday, my dad's birthday was last Saturday, my birthday just recently passed a week ago. And now we've got to bury him you know. Not the right way to go," Kristian told NBC News Los Angeles.

Members of the Revolution Club went to Paramount High School with the Revolution newspaper and a display of people killed by the police all across the U.S. just in the month after the police in New York City used a chokehold to kill Eric Garner, a 43-year-old Black man, on July 17. (See "Stolen Lives: There IS an Epidemic of Police Murder!")




Revolution #361 November 10, 2014

Protest at Chicago Police Headquarters:
An Outpouring of Rage

November 10, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


From readers

Video of the event by Kevin Gosztola of The Dissenter at Firedoglake

Inspired by the tenacity of people standing up to the police murder of Michael Brown in Ferguson, a broad array of families of people killed by the Chicago police joined together for the first time in a powerful protest the evening of November 5 to demand justice for all those whose lives were taken by the Chicago police.

The protest outside Chicago Police Headquarters was held on the 25th birthday of Rekia Boyd. Rekia Boyd was a bystander killed when an off-duty cop shot into a crowd on a hot March evening in 2012.

Parents, grandparents, and siblings of those whose lives were so viciously stolen came to the mic to testify in an outpouring of bitterness and rage about how their loved one was gunned down, how their lives were slandered and in many instances how family members were treated like animals when they tried to find out what had happened. These included the family of Rekia Boyd, Dakota Bright, Ronald Johnson, Flint Farmer, Darius Pinex, DeSean Pittman.

The grandmother of DeSean Pittman testified about how the police rampaged through their family’s vigil, arresting family members for supposedly assaulting the police.

A diverse group of supporters of these families, including college students, activists, members of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network, the Chicago Revolution Club and others, joined the protest—which was organized by a group called the Christianaires.




Revolution #361 November 10, 2014

Interview with Science Writer David Quammen

Ebola, Poverty, and Absence of Decent Healthcare in West Africa

November 10, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


Editors' note: correspondent Michael Slate interviewed David Quammen November 7, 2014 on The Michael Slate Show on radio station KPFK in Los Angeles. David Quammen is the author of Ebola: The Natural and Human History of a Deadly Virus.

audio Listen

Rush transcript:

Michael Slate: Over the last couple of months, people have been... for a while they were riveted to television, to newspapers, to stories coming out about the epidemic of the Ebola virus in West Africa, West and Central Africa. And through the course of this, there was a lot of trash that was put out and a lot of things that laid the basis for and actually did stoke up some very bad things—xenophobia, the kind of, you know, pogromish atmosphere. There were kids coming back from visiting their families in Africa and getting beat up and all this stuff.

And so I wanted to try and present a scientific view of Ebola. And I was looking around for someone who had done that in a very thorough sense and somebody who could actually talk about the disease in a scientific way. And I found that person. His name is David Quammen. David is the author of the book, Ebola: The Natural and Human History of a Deadly Virus and he's a contributor for National Geographic magazine. And I'm very happy to welcome him to the show today. David, welcome.

David Quammen: It's good to be with you, Michael.

Michael Slate: I want to talk about this. We're now in the midst of what you've called and others have called the worst outbreak of the Ebola virus ever, although it now seems that this has receded from the news in this country. And it's something that we can talk about a little bit, I hope. You know, what do you see as the big question... where did this come from? When people look at this, where did it come from? And on this scale in particular, but also generally?

David Quammen: Yes, well, the first answer is Ebola virus comes from the African forest. It has to live in some other creature, because viruses can only replicate in living cells. It has spilled over into humans more than 20 times in the last 40 years, first noticed in 1976. So there have been these outbreaks, more than 20 of them. And none of them previously had killed more than about 300 people. The total was about 1,600 fatalities in all these previous outbreaks. And now we're over, what, we're somewhere, I think, over 5,000 fatalities in this one. So this one is no longer an outbreak. As you say, it's an epidemic now in West Africa.

But it all began with the spillover of the virus from one animal into one human being, probably in the southeastern corner of Guinea last December. The first known case was a little two-year-old boy. He got sick and died. Then his mother got sick and died, his sister, his grandmother. They all died in this one little village.

We still don't know which animal Ebola virus hides in, but whatever it was, it got from that animal into these people in this little village in southeastern Guinea and then started passing from person to person.

Michael Slate: Let me ask you this, David, you wrote your book in the style of... in a certain sense, there's like a little bit of a detective story in there. It's related to what you've just been saying about one of the critical aspects—one of the points that you focus on a lot in your book is exactly that point of the search for a host or a reservoir for the virus. And then the actual mechanism for how it gets transmitted from the reservoir to humans.

David Quammen: Right.

Michael Slate: Why is this the critical point and where are we at on that?

David Quammen: Well, we still don't know, as I said, what the reservoir host is. You hear people say, well, it's fruit bats. There is suspicion that it is fruit bats. There has been some circumstantial evidence. But there has been no rock solid evidence that fruit bats of any species are the reservoir host. They're still trying to solve that.

And as you say, my book is written sort of as a mystery story and with each of these diseases, the first mystery is where does it come from and why? And then these disease detectives go out and try and solve that mystery.

But the reason it spilled over into humans from this animal, whatever it is, presumably has to do with the way people interact with wild animals in the countryside and in the forests of Central and West Africa, in other words, bush meat. People are starved for protein. They eat the animals. They eat wildlife, including bats. And in doing that, they expose themselves to the viruses that these creatures carry. That's what's happened with Ebola.

Why is it important to know which animal? Well, it can't help us—it probably can't help us stop the current epidemic to know what the reservoir host is, but it can help a lot in preventing future super viruses and future epidemics.

Michael Slate: There was something—and I think I read it either in your book or in an article you had written recently related to this. I mean it was very interesting because it was a point about how if it was fruit bats, say, that was the animal, then the solution would not necessarily be to go and eradicate all fruit bats from the face of the Earth. That would actually cause even more problems if that was done.

David Quammen: Right. Absolutely. These different species of bat and all these other animals, they have their ecological roles within the diverse ecosystems where they live and so if we discovered, for instance, that fruit bat Species X was the reservoir host of Ebola, there will be a lot of pressure from people saying oh, we should eradicate that species. But that would cause problems. That would cause cascading effects of one sort or another in the forests. What we have to realize is that there are essentially three options to dealing with this kind of a situation once you identify the reservoir.

You can decide you're going to eradicate the reservoir species. Bad idea for ecological reasons. You can try and cure the reservoir species, eradicate the virus from the reservoir species. That's very hard to do. Think about trying to cure an entire population of rodents or bats or monkeys or whatever in the African forests. It's just impracticable.

And the third possible approach is just identify the reservoir and then keep people separate from it, educate people, give people opportunities—give people options for other things to eat so that they can leave that reservoir host alone and not give it the opportunity to spill its virus into humans.

And the third of those is the one that really needs to be pursued once we identify the reservoir.

Michael Slate: Now, David, a related question to all this is that you talk about one of the difficulties in your book is in investigating the virus in humans, is that it's the transitory nature of the outbreaks of the disease.

David Quammen: Yes.

Michael Slate: That it hits and then it recedes into dormancy for years, who knows how long, who knows where it's going to appear again? And this is a huge problem. How do you deal with that? How does that affect both the course of these epidemics and these outbreaks and also the fight to actually figure out how to eradicate the disease?

David Quammen: Well, it is difficult, because scientists can only—they can only study this when there is an outbreak. I mean they can take samples of Ebola and grow it in the laboratory. But in terms of understanding the disease dynamics, the spill-over mechanism, they have to be there when that's happening and Ebola spills over into humans and it causes this outbreak situation and then it's an emergency.

People are sick. People are dying. So scientists go in there, public health people, health care workers go in there and they try and deal with the human tragedy that's happening. And it's difficult to do the scientific research at the same time. It's almost a luxury that they don't have.

And then, when the outbreak is brought to a halt, the virus disappears. Where is it? Well, it's in its reservoir host. What species is that? We don't know. And so it's difficult to study in between outbreaks.

But there are some brilliant and dedicated and courageous scientists who have been working in the forests of Central and West Africa for years and decades now in between outbreaks, sampling animals, taking blood samples from animals of all different sorts and looking for the Ebola virus. That work has been going on. Not many people, but some of them I know. I've spent time in the forest with them. That's the real detective work that's happening behind the scenes.

And the fact that they have not yet found the reservoir host of Ebola, they have not yet isolated live Ebola virus from any species of animal in the Central African forests is part of what compounds the mystery of this particular virus, this particular disease. It's really been a tough nut to crack.

Michael Slate: And the approach that you're taking with this book of actually doing science reporting from that standpoint. And what you bring out about the scientists themselves and about the various medical professionals and all the people who work with infectious diseases and all this, and the fact that you brought out in this book, I thought it was really important, that there's the element of really applying the science.

But then you talked about people who also went in and listened to the people who were affected by this and actually listened to the things that were wrong, the things that were superstitions but also what they could glean from them in terms of how the disease progressed, maybe get a hint of where it was picked up from and who got it, who died, who didn't, all this other stuff. And I thought that was very important.

David Quammen: I agree, it is important. And for instance, there's a fellow I met at an Ebola conference in Africa named Barry Hewlett. He's a medical anthropologist. I didn't even know that the profession of medical anthropologist existed. But he goes into these communities where Ebola is killing people or where it has struck and he talks to people. He talks to people about their traditional beliefs. He talks to people about the community dynamics, who's angry at whom. And he's written a book about this, about Ebola in particular, sort of the traditional belief practices and the cultural anthropology of this terrible disease.

Different ethnic groups in Central and West Africa have different ways of viewing this, but there's a certain amount of overlap. They tend to attribute these outbreaks to sorcery, to some sort of malign spirits. In some cases, it's almost as though someone were believed to have put a curse on someone else and the result is these chains of disease. They tend not to think of it as a virus—they tend to be suspicious of Western medicine—but they have their own ways of explaining these things.

Now, in some cases, those beliefs cause them a lot of trouble, cause them misery, because it includes burial practices that expose more and more people to the virus. But Barry Hewlett and the people like him who study these cultures realize that you can't just go in there and tell people that they're wrong, tell people stop doing that, stop cleaning the bodies of your loved ones before you bury them, you have to stop doing it.

You can't simply dictate to them. You have to absorb the traditional beliefs with respect and then give people options and guide them away to safer practices that allow them to avoid these kinds of situation.

Michael Slate: You know, it's interesting, David, because that's something that I think is actually also well worth thinking about in relation to how things have developed here in this country, where you have, in the wake of this, and attached to the epidemic in Africa, you have this sort of xenophobia and this pogromish atmosphere being whipped up, a lot based on the idea that people think, well, if someone looks at me wrong or they breathe in my direction, I'll get Ebola.

David Quammen: Yes.

Michael Slate: And on the basis of that, there's terrible things happening, including, you know, the beating of little children who have just returned from a visit to some place in Africa and people being isolated and if you get sick and you're African, you're basically suspect immediately and they want to quarantine you or who knows what's going to happen? And combating that can only happen with this kind of scientific approach that you're advocating.

David Quammen: Well, yes. And there's a tremendous amount of fear in this country, in the U.S., about Ebola, partly because it's such a lethal disease. It kills a high percentage of the people that it infects. But partly because of misunderstandings. People have been led by some previous publications to believe that Ebola is this spooky, mysterious disease that causes people to dissolve on the inside. It's incredibly bloody. People bleed bloody tears. In fact, those are myths. That's not true about Ebola.

It is a horrible disease. The virus kills a lot of people. It does not cause organs to dissolve. It does not cause most of its victims to bleed inordinately. It kills in other ways. So that misconception has partly led to this high level of fear. And as you said, people tend to be ignorant of Africa. Most people have never been to Africa. They have only the dimmest ideas of Africa. And here's a virus that comes from the African forest. Oooh, the African forest. That makes it more terrifying.

I try to get around that in my book. I've spent a lot of time in the African forests, of Central Africa particularly. And they're beautiful places with a lot of diversity, including Ebola virus.

But it's just a virus. It's not a preternatural miasma. It's not a spooky thing. It's just a virus that transmits in bodily fluids and can be stopped with proper precautions and equipment.

Michael Slate: Now, I want to ask you a couple more questions. One is this point that you've made in a number of places about evolution and the virus and that just as worrisome as the virus's geographic spread is its journey across the evolutionary landscape. Tell me what you're talking about there and then what are the possible repercussions of this?

David Quammen: Right. Well, people wonder, is Ebola virus evolving? Is it going to adapt toward being more lethal in humans, maybe toward being a respiratory virus transmissible through the air?

We know from good science that's been done since this outbreak began, some of it published in the journal Science in early September, we know that the Ebola virus is mutating. But that's almost a truism. Viruses always mutate. They make mistakes copying themselves. This is a particular kind of virus that has a relatively high rate of mutation. So it has been mutating more during this epidemic because it's infecting more humans. The more people it infects, the more opportunities it has to mutate.

But it's important to distinguish that from adapting. Mutation is random change, mistakes in copying its genome. Adaptation is Darwinian natural selection, taking those random mutations and selecting for the ones that cause the survival of the fittest, the survival of the fittest virus.

There is no evidence so far that Ebola virus, during this outbreak, has been adapting to be more dangerous in humans. It's possible that it could happen and the higher the case count goes, the greater the possibility. But in terms of the randomness of mutation, the case count is still relatively low and scientists are watching that carefully.

So we shouldn't be alarmed that this is going to become an airborne virus through mutation. We should be aware of the fact that the longer the outbreak, the epidemic, goes on, the better the chances of the virus mutating in some way that might make our prototype vaccines ineffective against it or might make it more problematic in other ways. But it's not likely to become an airborne virus.

Michael Slate: Just a follow-up here, because I thought I remember reading in your book the point about when they looked at this, that mutations over the last 10 years have been proceeding at a really phenomenal rate. And I was sort of wondering what that would mean.

David Quammen: Now, let me distinguish a little bit. Mutations over the course of this year, during the outbreak in West Africa, have been higher than usual. The mutation rate has been up. And they have found that there are five species of Ebola virus. And one of them is known as Zaire Ebola virus from Central Africa. And this virus in West Africa is part of that species. But it has diverged from that species by about 10 years worth of mutations.

So what that seems to suggest is that the virus is moving, that this strain of the virus in West Africa has diverged from the Central African Ebola virus over the last 10 years and moved into a new area, either perhaps because the reservoir host has been migrating. If it's bats, maybe the bats have been migrating, or because the virus has been moving through a population of reservoir hosts and the virus itself has been expanding its range.

In either case, that's a little bit disturbing over the longer-term. Again, it's not knowledge that helps us stop this outbreak, but it's something that we need to take into account in terms of what comes next, what happens next year and the year after, how to prevent future outbreaks of Ebola virus. We need to be aware that the virus seems to be moving.

Michael Slate: All right, David, the argument you make for basically people stepping back, taking a deep breath and looking at things from the standpoint not of oh, how can we escape this horror and all this other stuff, but that actually the whole way that the fight against Ebola has to be carried out has so much to do, and really would hinge on the idea that people here—and people everywhere in the world—have to do as much as they can to fight the disease where it is now in Africa. And not from the standpoint of get it there before it gets us, but from the standpoint of the situation facing humanity in that part of the world. Can you talk about that a little?

David Quammen: Yes. When there was a case in the U.S. and then a couple of secondary transmissions, we got very obsessed with the idea of how to protect ourselves in this country. Should there... should we close borders? Should we screen people at airports and have mandatory quarantine?

And in the midst of all that debate and kerfuffle and confusion, there's a tendency to forget that no matter what we do in this country, the right thing to do and the necessary thing to do for all concerned is to give all possible aid and support to ending the epidemic in West Africa.

We can institute airport protocols in this country, but we will never completely protect ourselves from the possibility of an infected person arriving until the epidemic has ended in West Africa. And equally or more important, we need, on sheer humanitarian grounds, because it's the right thing to do, we need to continue sending help, to send more help, the entire international community. We need to be sending more help, more material, more experts, more brave volunteers, health care experts, to West Africa to stop this epidemic there. Nobody will be completely safe anywhere in the world until this outbreak ends in West Africa.

Michael Slate: You know, and quite frankly, even if we were safe, it wouldn't be worth it if it was at the cost of all these people in Africa just continually dying and who knows what happening there in relation to this.

David Quammen: Amen to that, Michael.

Michael Slate: You know, I was reading the Los Angeles Times last week and they had an article about, well, hallelujah, the people who get Ebola in the U.S. aren't dying. And they talk about the reason is because we have the equipment, we have the facilities, we have this. And then you look at the listing of the equipment that's required to actually save a life and it's not rocket science.

David Quammen: Yes. That's right.

Michael Slate: You know, it's like yes, there's advanced stuff, but there's like just the right type of tubing and the various machines to deal with the disease as it progresses. And it's concentrated in these metropoles in the U.S. and Western Europe, but the rest of the world has no access to that at all. And it was really stunning to me.

David Quammen: That's right. That struck me, too. And the fact that the case fatality rate seems to be going down, that we've had much better than 50 percent case fatality in this country so far is a reminder—and I may have said this in my book, I can't remember—but it's a reminder that what's been happening in West Africa doesn't just tell us about the ugly facts of the Ebola virus, it tells us about the ugly facts of poverty and underserved populations and absence of decent health care in those countries in West Africa. That's what it represents, as much as anything.

Michael Slate: All right, David, thank you very much for joining us today.

David Quammen: Yes, thanks very much. And, yes, good questions. I'm glad that we got to dig into it a little deeper than usually is possible. A real pleasure to talk with you.

Michael Slate: You, too, man. Thanks a lot.




Revolution #361 November 10, 2014

From Carl Dix and Travis Morales:


When the Grand Jury Decision in the Murder of Mike Brown is Announced:
We will march! We will say NO MORE!
Bring everyone who is outraged.

November 10, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


Michael Brown

Photo: Justice for Michael Brown Facebook page.

The decision by the grand jury whether or not to indict Darren Wilson for the cold blooded murder of Michael Brown could come at any time.  Some have reported that the decision could come on Monday, November 10, or as late as the end of November.  People have reported seeing armored personnel carriers on the streets of Ferguson and hearing that National Guard members have been told to report on this current weekend.  We can't verify these reports or say exactly when the decision will come down but we can say, NOW IS THE TIME TO PREPARE!

Whatever the decision, no charges, charges that are a slap on the wrist or the unlikely indictment for murder, people everywhere must pour into the streets to DEMAND JUSTICE FOR MICHAEL BROWN.  We cannot accept this murdering cop walking free.  It will be another green light to police to wantonly kill our people.  We must raise our voices in the streets, loudly saying NO MORE!  Even if Wilson is indicted, we need to be in the streets. Remember, George Zimmerman was indicted for the murder of Trayvon Martin, but he walked free after a trial in which the prosecutors forgot how to prosecute.  NOT THIS TIME!  What you do matters.

Start by publicizing a time and place in the afternoon or evening where people should gather on the day the decision is announced to protest and march.  Start making your signs and banners and get your whistles ready.  Spread your plans to everyone and every group.  Put out a press release.  Flood social media.  Make sure everybody knows where to be and what to do.

Send your plans to so they can be posted on the web site of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network .

See plans in various cities at

Carl Dix, Revolutionary Communist Party, co-founder of Stop Mass Incarceration Network

Travis Morales, Stop Mass Incarceration Network-NYC




Revolution #361 November 10, 2014

In the Classroom: Controversy over BA—and Firm Desire to Get to the Dialogue

November 11, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

Conventional wisdom would have us believe the reduction of controversy and contention in the classroom would be a prerequisite for winning over a section of the students to get on the bus for NYC and the historic Dialogue between Cornel West and Bob Avakian. As if reaching unity on the tremendous opportunity to see BA in person, and to hear CW and BA modeling the practice of unity-struggle-unity, and to hear them out on the question of the role of religion in the fight for emancipation and a radically different world, requires a cessation of struggle, not building on the unity achieved to take the struggle deeper and broader as new contradictions come to the fore.

In the classroom I am referring to, a sharp division arose over how to assess what BA says in “What Humanity Needs” about the new synthesis calling for finding the ways to give “due and correct attention” to both the fundamental needs of the masses and the full expression of artistic creativity and dissent. A couple of students were claiming that BA doesn't really answer the question of how to deal with the contradiction. Another pointed to ways in which he thought BA was being instrumentalist in the deployment of his arguments—that he is not really serious about everything he says, and that he is catering to his audience, not really seeking the truth. Another voiced the doubt that BA is not saying anything that isn't claimed in America.

The response of other students created a sustained uproar in the classroom: students challenging students, and turning the class's attention back to the text and a careful reading of what BA is actually saying there, its meaning and intent. As all this was going on, it puzzled me that those who expressed the most questioning and opposition to BA were those who had previously shown a lot of interest in getting on the bus to hear Cornel and BA. I wondered what this contention meant about their intentions and I found out at the end of class. They were firm in their desire to go and to be a part of this, put money down on the bus ride, and bought their tickets.  

On some further exploration with them, it became clear that what was really motivating them, and their questioning, was a strong desire to know if how BA is envisioning the future could really happen, and whether people are being called upon to just take his word for it.    





Revolution #361 November 10, 2014

Michael Slate Interviews Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o at private fundraising party for the Dialogue

November 11, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o, novelist, playwright and theorist on art, revolution and decolonization, offered to be interviewed by Michael Slate, Revolution/ writer and radio journalist, at a private fundraising party for the Cornel West/Bob Avakian Dialogue. The event was held at the home of David Zeiger, the award-winning filmmaker of Sir! No Sir!, a film about GI resistance during the Vietnam War.

We had a little less than two weeks to get the word out. People were asked to contribute $100 and we reached out to people who could afford to donate much more. There were worries that we did not have enough time to get people there. But we talked, and knowing that the big event would be happening in New York City the week after, we all agreed to go for it. Hundreds of people were contacted in a very short period of time.

It was a small and beautiful event. Five people attended, drawn by the chance to hear one of the most important authors from Africa speaking to raise the funds needed to get many people to NYC on the November 15. One person came because they received a call from another documentary filmmaker saying that he had to be there. They were working on human rights issues related to the persecution of gays and lesbians in Uganda, fueled by U.S.-funded Christian fascists working in NGOs there. Another person came with funds she had raised from friends who could not attend, but who were moved by this event to contribute; she brought a friend who teaches film at a local college. An ex-prisoner, who came to know Bob Avakian's work while in prison, attended the event and shared his thoughts with Ngũgĩ, who spoke about his time in prison as an Amnesty International prisoner of conscience. A man who had worked in Kenya and had also contributed to getting the mother of a prisoner to the NYC event, came to the house party as well. A prominent actor wrote that they could not attend but would make a contribution, and two very prominent artists wrote that they were interested in this event and in the Revolution and Religion Dialogue.

At the event, people were able to listen to an hour-and-a-half interview of Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o by Michael Slate that talked about the role of art in human society, and then in relationship to revolution. Ngũgĩ was imprisoned by the Kenyan government for the staging of the play Ngaahika Ndeenda (I Will Marry When I Want). It was written in the indigenous language of the people instead of in English and brought people who had been robbed of their culture by decades of brutal colonization into the process of creating the play and staging it in a theater they built in a rural town. He spoke about what his plays and novels brought to the lives of people and his appreciation for the people who took his works and transformed them into something much bigger than he could ever have imagined. He talked about the swirl of ideas that impacted the movement in Kenya—some coming from books that escaped the censors from as far away as the U.S. He also spoke deeply to the way that art is to imagination and the human spirit, what food is to the body, and that the very use of the language of the people was such a threat to the imperialists and those who served them in the Kenyan government. The play was shut down and the theater was razed. Ngũgĩ was arrested and sent to a maximum security prison for a year, where he wrote his next novel on prison toilet paper.

People walked away from the event very moved and inspired. $600 was raised. The whole rich content of the interview provided the perfect segue to let people know about the important event the following weekend in NYC, and where their funds would go. An announcement about the fundraising efforts by those in Ferguson—encouraging people to attend the simulcast of the event in Los Angeles and to support the national efforts to fill the house in NYC—ended the event.




Revolution #361 November 10, 2014

Harlem Dialogue Team: Making sure people are REALLY there!

November 11, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


The Harlem Dialogue team made some real progress last week, especially at one high school where we were able to get some synergy going between the students and the teachers. There is both a buzz in the school about the Dialogue and there are some key students and teachers who have come forward to not only make a commitment themselves to come, but to organize others to come as well. This was expressed in things like a teacher buying a $100 block of 10 tickets so that students could go and some students buying their own tickets (See "Hey! You're inside the building now!") But in this next week—the final week before the Dialogue—we certainly can't rest content with this! Or we'll lose even what we've gained. We've got to build on it and make further advances in getting the word out even more and in firming up many more people's commitments to actually get their ticket and REALLY BE THERE on November 15.

One of the things the team is summing up is that we have to go at this contradiction/problem on two levels: 1) addressing the ideological questions that come up among people; and 2) solving practical problems that stand in the way of people coming. And these two things inter-penetrate and have to be fought through together.

In our November 4 correspondence we talked about how one of the goals of our work is: "Involving the masses at every point in making breakthroughs in getting people to buy tickets, to make commitments to come, etc. Getting people to find ways to take this out, talk to others, make their own statements and videos about why they are coming to the Dialogue, finding all kinds of ways to reach different people about this and involve them in this whole process."

We have been working at this and have much more to do on this front as well. Last week a woman from Harlem sat down with the team. After listening to the interview Cornel West did with Bob Avakian and discussing the importance of the Dialogue, she made a statement about why she is coming—with the idea that this would be taken out far and wide to others, posted at, and gotten out in Harlem in particular, to struggle with others about why this Dialogue is for them. (See "Two Days With the Volunteers: Harriet Tubman, “America’s Top Chef,” and Getting a Whole Lot More ORGANIZED."

The team is setting out to have "team captains"—people from the masses who themselves are already committed to going and will now take responsibility for organizing others in their schools, housing projects, communities, jobs, etc. to come. This means talking to people, getting names, following up, selling tickets, and helping to solve problems that come up. For example there are things that need to be figured out, like transportation to the event, childcare, etc. that these team captains, together with the Harlem team, will work to solve.

One thing we know is that it's not enough just to sell someone a ticket—although this is very important and we really gotta be doing this all this week and at a faster pace! But we also know that buying a ticket doesn't guarantee someone is going to be there on Saturday. First of all, lots of things "come up"—problems and obstacles in people's lives that need to be figured out. Also, and most importantly, people may really have good intentions of coming when they buy the ticket, BUT if this commitment is not deepened, there is a chance that the complications of people's lives, other things that "seem more important," etc. will mean the person ends up not coming.

So this is where it is really important for the team to get back with people to firm up their commitment to coming. One thing we've found is that the more we've gotten people to watch the video, "Bob Avakian, Legendary Freedom Fighter, Long Distance Runner"; listen to the letter from the ex-prisoner ("To the Youth Who This System Has Cast Off: This Dialogue Is for You"); and  to the interview that Cornel did with BA—the more this has firmed up people's real desire and commitment to come to the Dialogue.

And this is where the intersection comes between the ideological and practical questions. Because when different problems arise that make it difficult for people to come—like jobs, family emergencies, childcare, etc.—IF people are really firm in their commitment to come, if they really see how it will make a real difference for them to come, if they see that if they come they will get some real answers about how we can really emancipate humanity, then they are going to really fight through on how to solve these problems. And we on the team have to work together with people to do this.

For example, we have been talking to a lot of people who, when they hear about the Dialogue, really want to come. But then they raise different things that stand in the way of them coming—like lots of people have brought up that they have to work that day. And when we bring up that it is really "worth it" to take off work that day to come to this, people come back with the argument that they can't afford it, that they can't get the day off, etc. But again, this does come back to the questions of: How badly do you want to go? How much do you see the importance of hearing this historic Dialogue? Do you really see how important this is to getting free from all this oppressive madness the people face both here and around the world? Stepping back and rising above the daily struggle to survive to think about how we're going to get free from all this.

The volunteers have played an important role in these discussions with people—those who have come from other parts of the country sharing their stories about how they've sacrificed a lot more than just taking off a day of work. They've talked to people about how they dropped everything in their lives back home, sometimes giving up jobs, to come to New York City to build for this Dialogue because, as one volunteer put it, "I'm tired of all this shit that they do to people in the world. These are emergency times and I want to make revolution."





Revolution #361 November 10, 2014

Revolution and Religion: Uniting a People for Change Across Social Constructs

November 11, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a recent student graduate in sociology at a Southern CA University who's now a social worker:

Revolution, for many has become more of an idea, then a possibility. For many it seems impossible to change a system that has been created to oppress the masses, it seems impossible to end capitalism, racism, and poverty. But it's not impossible.

One of the key challenges in making revolution possible are the barriers created all around us to divide and conquer us as a people. Constructs like race, class, religion, gender, pit us against each other, fighting one another for basic resources. For many years the masses have been awakening to realities to close to ignore. Realities, such as police brutality, and mass incarceration force us to see that racism exists, that slavery exists, that oppression is real, and that revolution is needed. This is the time to strike while the iron is hot. This is the time to mobilize the masses, as they have now seen with their own eyes the atrocities our government is capable of for corporate greed.

I want to attend the Dialogue between Communist Revolutionary Bob Avakian and Christian Revolutionary Cornel West because I want to be part of the dialogue that explores unity and solutions. I too have questions of how to merge revolution and religion, how to build bridges across social borders, and how to make revolution a reality. It would be a great honor to be amongst leaders and revolutionaries asking these questions, working together to fight for solutions. For me it is simple, I believe revolution is possible, but I know the masses must be on board. Revolution must come from the people, by the people. I plan on attending on behalf of my community, to better understand how to go about creating a revolution, so I can come back and plant the seeds in my community; seeds which spark dialogue and unite people across social barriers to end oppression, by any means necessary.




Revolution #361 November 10, 2014

"I expect the event to be synergistic and experience that could transform a person's consciousness"

November 11, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


From an African American Humanist who will attend dialogue:

A couple reasons for wanting to go are:

  1. It's an historical event that I don't want to miss.
  2. It will be a great learning experience.
  3. It will be a chance to participate and contribute.

To see and hear these two well read, articulate revolutionaries dive in and tackle some of the major issues of the day and push up against the mainstream propaganda that is spewed daily, would be a real privilege. Being done in a public forum with both men bringing different perspectives, I expect the event to be synergistic and dynamic and it could be an experience that could help transform a person's I think it would be well worth the money, time and effort. Besides, I been keeping up with the RCP newspaper since the mid-eighties when I was living in Philly and was buying it at Robin's bookstore and I see no reason to stop now!




Revolution #361 November 10, 2014

From a Black College Student:

Compelling People to Act on What They Know to Be True

November 11, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


I think this Dialogue is very important because for one, the goal of the Dialogue, the ultimate goal is to get people involved, to get more people aware of and thus compel them to act on what they know to be true.

The interesting thing is that the very presence of the Dialogue fosters what we want to happen. You have an outspoken Christian and you have an outspoken atheist both meeting at a church to discuss how they can unify in their interests, how their differences can be reconciled in the face of such powerful unity that we need to have.

I think that this is also a very interesting way of getting people involved that have a very strong potential to get involved. We need to reach everyone, but a way to do that is to have someone like Cornel West whose involved in a spectrum of different issues impacting society. Many people are Cornel West fans because they like how he talks about a specific issue, maybe philosophy, religion, music, or just cultural criticism in general. To see that what's driving all the viewpoints they so cherish is actually something that resonates deeply with someone who has a fundamental difference in their worldview from him, but just the love of people is the same. Basically, people who are West fans are being introduced to another side of Cornel West which is more fundamental and how he has that in common with an atheist. And people from Bob Avakian's side, it allows them to be more accepting of people who hold religious beliefs and understand that all these occurrences in the world, we can use them to our advantage. So obviously if they view religion as a bad thing, they can say, well the reality is that religion is here to stay so how do we point religious people toward acting on the ultimate end of things. From the presence to the purpose in how it's done, it all points toward that unity that we need to have in order to get things done which have wrecked... so many organizations have been torn apart because of fundamental differences being highlighted and it's a reality that we're going to have people from diverse backgrounds and opinions working together, very powerful from many different angles.

What do you think of the title? And what makes you feel it's important enough you want to go build for it to have the impact it needs?

Revolution and religion are both very emotionally charged words with a lot of implications throughout history. Any time you say revolution, it's a word that catches people. Because people either have strong views against it or for it. A lot of passion clouds around those two terms. Religion of course because any time you call religion religion and just set it out there, people assume that you're taking a stance of critiquing religion. So those are two terms that alert people. Revolution and Religion, the fight for emancipation. Very strong and viscerally so. The title I think is really excellent, and its short and concise, really excellent at capturing people's interest. Because basically in order to get more people revolving around an issue, you have to create some kind of controversy, some kind of stir, and that's what this dialogue is, it's juxtaposing two opposites, it's like a paradox, and that's what drawing, that's one of the things that helps in drawing people toward it.

Speaking on why I'd like to get involved, something like this I think is very fulfilling. I attended a protest on October 22nd, that was my first protest. And during the protest I noticed that I had to have a different state of mind to protest, state of mind of anger, and awareness, but at the same time very thoughtful, so it really employed a different side of my mind, and challenged a lot of the stuff that I say, actually putting it into practice. So, I think that something like that, after the fact, was very fulfilling, to go home or to eat and know that I actually made a difference, actually let my voice be heard about the struggling that's going on in the world. It's a very noble, very noble, very lofty pursuit, that unfortunately is overlooked in the midst of all this dross and materialism and me, me, me. It's actually very fulfilling, no matter which way you look at it. For atheists, you see it's fulfilling for Bob Avakian and the communists, you see it's fulfilling for Christians, or Muslims or whatever, so I think it would very fulfilling, it would be something to look back on, and actually give a concrete example of how the struggle that happened in the 60s to make things how they are today is continuing. To say that you're involved, it's kind of like saying you were involved in protesting the Vietnam war, it's so historic. Whether things change or not, you're actually a force, you participated in one of the largest issues concerning the world today. It's historical.

What do you think about the opportunity to hear Bob Avakian and see Bob Avakian live and in person?

Seeing Bob Avakian, I'm just being introduced to him, and like I said, just for the reasons I spoke of before, it's historic, and this guy I hear has strategies for revolution, so just to say that I saw Bob Avakian speak. And to really understand and see first-hand, hearing him explain his ideas to me, because I'm not too familiar with him, and seeing in person his passion, because I hear he's very... I heard about "Watching Fruitvale Station with Bob Avakian," about how he was in tears after he saw what happened to Oscar Grant, some guy that he doesn't even know. Just to see that passion in person, something completely different from... I mean, I've seen Cornel West in person, I'm like wow, you could feel his level of passion, similarly with someone like Bob Avakian. It's one thing to read his books, but so much more of language is body language and things like that that can only be captured when you're actually in front of someone, so I definitely think because of that it would be better to hear someone like that speak in person.




Revolution #361 November 10, 2014

Full Page New York Times Ad about this historic dialogue to appear on Thursday. Your contribution is needed to make this possible.

November 12, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


The Indiegogo campaign to raise $30,000 to fund people coming to the Dialogue between Cornel West and Bob Avakian on 11/15 was a success—over the top!  NOW thousands more are needed for a full page ad in the New York Times to run this Thursday, featuring this statement from the outspoken actor and activist Ed Asner:  “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.”

This statement will be joined by a selection of statements from others which may include Nobel laureate Harold Kroto, authors, an esteemed abortion provider, musicians, youth from Ferguson and Chicago, parents of victims of police murder and more.

An incredible range of people have spoken movingly to what this Dialogue means to them at this time. See their comments, and donate, at A full page ad in the New York Times can put all this before the eyes of millions.

To make a contribution for this New York Times ad, please make donations to: The Bob Avakian Institute.

For more information, contact Revolution Books at 212.691.334 or




Revolution #361 November 10, 2014

Young man in Seattle who is raising funds to be able to attend the Dialogue

November 10, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


I am inspired to be at this extremely important and timely discussion on Religion and Emancipation with Bob Avakian and Cornel West. I find myself with a unique disposition for observing this discussion, as I do not ascribe to religion or atheism, yet see myself as a spiritual being with free agency for critical thought and objective adjustment.

I have been active in community organizing and social struggle for over eight years now, and have progressed my analysis of the dire times we live in. As a devoted revolutionary, I understand the idea to have grabbed hold of me, not me of it. While movements cannot be forced, they can be realized. I see this discussion as an important step to realizing where we stand as diverse people on a very touchy yet relevant subject affecting the way we relate to our worlds, each other, struggle, and hope for emancipation. It is under this premise that I desire to share the space where this great Dialogue will be engaged with two incredible thought leaders of our time.

It's high time to galvanize! Let's do this!

In struggle,
-R, Seattle





Revolution #361 November 10, 2014

Statement From Ed Asner—Actor, Emmy Award winner, Host Committee for the Cornel West/Bob Avakian Dialogue

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

November 10, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


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.











Revolution #361 November 10, 2014

From Carl Dix and Travis Morales:

Governor Nixon Prepares Violence Against People Demanding Justice for Michael Brown

November 11, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


Governor Nixon of Missouri gave a press conference today, November 11, full of threats against people demanding Justice for Michael Brown. The St. Louis City Police, the St. Louis County Police, the Missouri Highway Patrol and the National Guard are being mobilized for the grand jury decision on whether to indict the murdering cop, Darren Wilson, for the cold-blooded murder of Michael Brown. Nixon made no mention of justice for Michael Brown. This press conference was to deliver a message to those standing up against police murder that the authorities were prepared to viciously attack them if they dared to continue protesting.

Nixon claimed, “We have been working around the clock to prepare to keep the residents and the businesses of St. Louis region safe.” Lies! They have been working around the clock to let the cop Darren Wilson walk free for the murder of Michael Brown, to force people to stop protesting. Their aim is to keep people out of the streets and to protect the injustice system that time and time again lets the police kill our people with impunity. What about keeping Michael Brown safe?

Nixon bellowed, “Violence will not be tolerated.” More lies! What about the violence of Darren Wilson shooting Michael Brown down in the street? What about the violence of the police beating demonstrators in the streets of Ferguson? What about the violence of shooting tear gas and rubber bullets at demonstrators? What about the violence of tear gassing and pointing rifles at demonstrators and news reporters? All this violence is just fine with the authorities!

They are preparing to attack people who dare to go into the streets. We must prepare to go into the streets and demand justice. As we said a few days ago:




When the Grand Jury Decision in the Murder of Mike Brown is Announced:
We will march! We will say NO MORE!
Bring everyone who is outraged.

Send your plans to so they can be posted on the web site of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network

See plans in various cities at


• Carl Dix - Revolutionary Communist Party, co-founder of Stop Mass Incarceration Network

• Travis Morales - Stop Mass Incarceration Network-NYC




Revolution #361 November 10, 2014

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

November 16, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


On November 15, 1900 people packed The Riverside Church in New York City to experience the Dialogue between Cornel West and Bob Avakian—REVOLUTION AND RELIGION: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion. There has never been anything like it.

It was an historic event. It was the first public appearance in decades by Bob Avakian, the revolutionary leader and architect of a whole new framework for the emancipation of all of humanity, who spoke directly and in depth to the need and basis for revolution; in dialogue with Cornel West, one of the most important and provocative public intellectuals of our time and who spoke and engaged in dialogue from the perspective of Christian and Black prophetic traditions, and as an uncompromising champion for the oppressed.

Cornel West had promised that the audience was “going to hear agreement & disagreement... transgression & convergence... most importantly, you're going to hear two brothers who are for real..." That happened, and more. With intensity, sincerity, and love, both speakers pulled the audience out of their collective and individual comfort zones—and challenged them to take responsibility for the state of humanity, in stark contrast to and explicitly in opposition to the prevailing morality of “me first.” Bob Avakian began his speech with a loving tribute to Wayne Webb, also known as Clyde Young, a close friend and comrade, and a member of the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Communist Party who had just passed away—whose life was an inspiring example of how those this system treats as "the worst of the worst" can become the very best that humanity is capable of.

The Dialogue was driven by profound and historic challenges to humanity—at a moment when billions of people live lives of unnecessary misery and the very planet itself is in peril. As Host Committee member Ed Asner said before the event: “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.”

The Dialogue was made possible by a diverse and determined grassroots movement, and a Host Committee that brought together an unprecedented range of voices, from academia to the parents of African-American youth murdered by the NYPD. Tens of thousands of dollars were raised to promote the Dialogue. Fundraising continues to cover the cost of a full-page ad in the Thursday, November 13 print edition of the New York Times. Radio station WBAI signed on as the media sponsor for the event.

Lining up outside, waiting to get into the Dialogue. Photo: Special to

People came on buses from Ferguson, Missouri; from the South Side of Chicago; and from nearby housing projects in Harlem. They came from elite universities and community colleges and from churches, and classes came from high schools. The audience included long-time political activists and youth who had never been to a political event. The vibe and feeling of the audience was intense, enthusiastic, welcoming, vocal, and eager to get into the questions; the place throbbed with the feeling of something new coming into being. The seriousness of the speakers and the love and respect they had for each other set a tone that people very much responded to.


Read more

Differences around the key question of the event—the fight for emancipation and the role of religion—were deeply gone into, as were points of unity. As we said, the determination of both speakers to not only bring out how people today all over the world are forced to live and needlessly suffer and who is responsible, but also to sharply challenge the audience to act against that with courage, came through. People intensely listened to the truth-telling for over four hours. Thought-provoking and soul-searching questions were posed from the audience to Cornel West and Bob Avakian including on the state of popular culture; the morality of violence; the nature of the police and how to get justice; the possibility of actually carrying out and winning a successful revolution; and defining personal experiences in the lives of the speakers.

This event was a great beginning! And now the dialogue continues—between and with people from all walks of life and from a wide range of perspectives. In the coming weeks and months, in different ways, we will be providing coverage of this event and its aftermath here at Tune into the audio re-broadcast, which we will feature at as soon as details are available.

Click here for the flyer handed out to people leaving the event. Share your thoughts in emails to And stay engaged with the movement for revolution through

A view of the audience, during the Dialogue. Photo: Special to




Revolution #361 November 10, 2014

Take to the Streets When the Ferguson Grand Jury Announces Its Decision


By Carl Dix

November 17, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |

Printable PDF of this statement


The grand jury investigating the police murder of Michael Brown in Ferguson will announce its decision any day now. All indications are that it will let the killer cop, Darren Wilson, walk free. This would amount to the system giving its stamp of approval, once more, to police wantonly murdering Black youth. This would be an outrage—one that we must refuse to accept.

When the decision comes down, people need to pour into the streets immediately. If the authorities let this murdering pig walk, America must be brought to a halt. Major streets and highways should be blocked, and traffic should be unable to proceed on bridges and tunnels. Professional athletes should join the response by refusing to play. Musicians should cancel appearances. Students should walk out of school when they hear that another murdering pig has gone free. If the decision is announced at night, the next day should be a day of NO BUSINESS AS USUAL at schools. Buildings on campus should be taken over, classes should become teach-ins on police murder of Black people. All this and more should be done.

Governor Nixon of Missouri has declared a state of emergency and mobilized the National Guard. The emergency we must act to stop is the murder of our youth by police. Nixon's actions underscore the need for us to step up and step out to say NO MORE to police murdering our youth.

If the grand jury does indict Wilson, we still need to act. If it's anything less than murder, that would be the system telling us Black life doesn't matter much. Even if they indict him for murder, justice hasn't been won yet. Zimmerman was indicted for the murder of Trayvon, but he was allowed to walk free after a trial where the prosecutors acted like they had forgotten how to prosecute.

What we do when the grand jury decision comes down has to be more than a one-day thing. It must be part of bringing into being a movement of millions of people who are determined to STOP the murder of Black and Latino youth by police and racist vigilantes. The day after Thanksgiving should become “Black Lives Matter” day instead of a black Friday of getting a jump on Christmas shopping. Walmarts should be a focus of protests because a young Black man, John Crawford, was murdered by police in Walmart in Ohio, and a grand jury let those killer cops walk free.

And all this has to be aimed at delivering a message to one and all that THE KILLING OF BLACK YOUTH MUST STOP! People must come together and say this in a loud and united voice. We must mean it, and we must act accordingly immediately when the decision is announced and going forward from there till the murder of our youth by police and racist vigilantes is truly no more.






Revolution #361 November 10, 2014

Nixon’s State of Emergency: Illegitimate and Outrageous

November 17, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


On November 17, Missouri Governor Nixon declared a State of Emergency—mobilizing the National Guard, and authorizing violent suppression of protest—even before there is an announcement from the Grand Jury on whether they will indict Ferguson cop Darren Wilson for the murder of Michael Brown. For all the sanctimonious lies we are fed about “protecting free speech,” the “bottom line” for those in power is armored personnel carriers, rubber bullets, toxic gas, violent assaults on news media—which Nixon’s press release calls “steps toward peaceful change.”

Nixon’s “State of Emergency” is an outrage on top of outrages—it violates this system’s own Constitution, and is completely illegitimate suppression of righteous protest. And it must be OPPOSED by anyone with any sense of justice!





Revolution #361 November 10, 2014

St. Louis:

Dramatic die-in marks 100 days of injustice and struggle

November 17, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


From readers

Die-in and street theater in St. Louis on Nov 16 demands justice for Michael Brown. Photos:

End White Supremacy

Indict America

On November 16, 150 people carried out a “die in” in freezing weather, blocking traffic on a busy commercial street in St. Louis. People are outraged about the upcoming grand jury decision, which is expected to exonerate the cop who murdered Mike Brown, and the threats and mobilization by the government of violent repression.

The action, on the 100th day after Ferguson cop Darren Wilson gunned down unarmed Mike Brown and left his body lying in the streets for four hours, started with a street-theater reenactment of Mike Brown’s murder, with a “cop” shooting down the “victim.” This was followed by 25 more people falling to the ground and lying motionless for 10 minutes as others drew chalk outlines on the street. Additional mock cops barked orders and yelled at protesters, calling them “criminals.” Black “coffins” accompanied bodies in the street with names like “Kajieme Powell” (murdered by a cop in St. Louis days after Mike Brown was killed); “Vonderrit Myers” (murdered by a St. Louis cop in October); “Eric Garner” (choked to death by New York cops). Other caskets had messages including “A family’s future,” and “End White Supremacy.” People circulated through the bodies lying in the streets tossing flowers on them. A person rang a bell 100 times to signal 100 days of injustice since Mike’s murder. Protesters then arose and there was a spirited march in the streets for another ½ mile, with enthusiastic support from oncoming cars and people in the area.

A banner leading the march said, “Indict America.” People chanted: “No justice, no peace, no racist police!” “If we don’t get it, shut it down!” “Indict, convict, send the killer cop to jail, the whole damn system is guilty as hell!” At the end of the event, there was a mass reciting of what’s become a defiant anthem: “It’s our duty to fight for our freedom, it’s our duty to win, we must care and support each other, we have nothing to lose but our chains.”

People continue to take to the streets and prepare to protest the expected grand jury decision. The crowd was very mixed: most were young people who came as individuals or part of groups that have sprung up in the St. Louis area since Mike Brown’s murder. Black, white, Latino and indigenous people were in the mix, including a number of older folks—some from Amnesty International. A Latino group that attended is working among undocumented immigrants to promote justice for Mike Brown and Black and brown unity.

The point was made by people in the march: it’s been 100 days of intolerable injustice, but it’s also been 100 days of struggle. People are tense and getting ready for a big juncture in the struggle for justice.




Revolution #361 November 10, 2014

Authorities Sowing Fear in Ferguson—They Can’t Whitewash Michael Brown’s Murder

November 17, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


From readers: 

In a press conference November 17 Missouri Governor Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency and activated the National Guard ahead of a grand jury decision about whether Darren Wilson, a white police officer, will be charged in the fatal shooting of Mike Brown, a Black 18-year-old in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson.

Nixon said the National Guard would assist state and local police in case the grand jury's decision leads to a resurgence of defiant protest that has continued for over 100 days, since Mike Brown was murdered by Darren Wilson August 9. Nixon said the St. Louis County Police Department would be in charge of a unified police command in Ferguson. The St. Louis city police and Missouri State Highway Patrol will also be a part of the occupying police state. This police state is being put into place to repress, assault, and arrest those protesters who they decide are out of line and to strike fear into people to remain off the streets and go along with the murder of Mike Brown and police terror.

Recently at least two north county cities have sent out warning letters to residents about the coming Michael Brown grand jury decision. This is meant to create fear and panic among wide sections of the local suburbs surrounding Ferguson. The letter to all residents states: be prepared for a period of disruption; be prepared to stay in your homes for a number of days. Stock up on bottled water, medicine, gas, make contingency plans for picking up kids, have your cell phone charged, if disabled contact friends, and if you are going on public transportation, be prepared for delays. If you are traveling to the airport, it will be protected by the National Guard. All bags checked and no stopping at drop-off point.

In a protest the same day as the press conference in Clayton, the seat of the grand jury, people spoke out calling for the arrest and conviction of Darren Wilson. "We want an indictment. The cops don't like it," the group chanted on a day when the temperature was well below freezing as they marched outside the Clayton County courthouse where the grand jury is sitting. "Something about the way Mike Brown was killed started a fire in me that I can't ignore," said one of the demonstration's organizers. He said he had little sympathy for area residents who are tired of the demonstrations, which left some businesses in Ferguson burned out. "They can turn this off and on with a TV screen. But this is my reality. This is my life.”

For the past weeks the national media, Ferguson officials, the mayor, governor and police have tried to create an atmosphere where the focus has been on fear of the demonstrators and protest. They are trying to put people on the defensive and creating divisions between the defiant ones and other sections of the protest movement. The basic fact is that Darren Wilson murdered Mike Brown in cold blood and the police continue to murder more people in the St. Louis area: Kajieme Powell and Vonderrit Myers and across the country. This must STOP NOW!






Revolution #361 November 10, 2014

From the Stop Mass Incarceration Network:

If Wilson Walks, America Halts!
No Business As Usual in NYC!
Immediately Go to Union Square and Into the Streets!
Justice for Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and All Victims of Killer Cops!

November 20, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


If the grand jury refuses to indict Darren Wilson for the murder of Michael Brown, people need to drop everything and go to Union Square. A "No Indictment" amounts to the system giving its stamp of approval to police wantonly murdering Black youth. A "No Indictment" would be an outrage that we must refuse to accept. If the authorities let this murdering cop walk, America must be brought to a halt. Traffic should be unable to proceed on major streets, highways, bridges and tunnels. Thousands must gather in Union Square. Then, our options are:

Wherever we go, we will deliver a message to one and all that THE KILLING OF BLACK YOUTH MUST STOP! People must come together and say this in a loud and united voice. We must mean it, and we must act accordingly immediately when the decision is announced and going forward from there till the murder of our youth by police and racist vigilantes is truly no more.

Students should walk out of school when they hear that another murdering pig has gone free. If the decision is announced at night, the next day should be a day of NO BUSINESS AS USUAL at schools. Buildings on campus should be taken over, classes should become teach-ins on police murder of Black people. All this and more should be done.

What Next?


Stop Mass Incarceration Network
c/o P.O. Box 941 Knickerbocker Station
New York, NY 10002-0900
Twitter: @StopMassIncNet

347-979-SMIN (7646)




Revolution #361 November 10, 2014

From Efia Nwangaza to NPR: Give Carl Dix Opportunity to Answer the Red-baiting

November 20, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


The following is a letter sent by Efia Nwangaza, of the Malcolm X Center and Radio Station WMXP, to the All Things Considered program on National Public Radio (NPR). We are running it here by permission.

This is to ask that Carl Dix, National Spokesperson for the Revolutionary Communist Party be given the opportunity to answer St. Louis law enforcement question of "What is the interest of the Revolutionary Communist Party in Michael Brown and Ferguson?" Yesterday, I heard this on my local SCETV -NPR station and think it is only fair that they be allowed to respond! As a Student Non-violent Coordinator (SNCC) worker in the 1960s, I am outraged by the "outside agitator" and red baiting that's again being used today. Please do not be an instrument of this divisiveness. Allow the Revolutionary Communist Party to tell why it is interested in Mike Brown's death and Ferguson, MO.

Efia Nwangaza
Greenville, SC