Revolution #366, December 22, 2014 (revcom.us)

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

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Revolution #366 December 22, 2014

Rock in the New Year With Resistance to Police Murder!
NO NEW YEAR UNDER THIS OLD SYSTEM! WE CAN'T BREATHE!

A Call from Carl Dix

December 18, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

On New Year's Eve, as the clock winds down on 2014, the powers that be will hope to be ringing in a new year that carries forward business as usual. That must not be allowed to go down because business as usual in Amerikkka includes wanton police murder of Black people. The refusal of grand juries in Ferguson and Staten Island to indict the cops who murdered Michael Brown and Eric Garner made this clear. So the powerful, beautiful and necessary outpourings that have disrupted this society's normal routine must continue and escalate on New Year's Eve and into the New Year.

Photo: AP

We should live in a society where those who are entrusted with public safety would sooner risk their own lives than kill or injure an innocent person. But in this society, cops who brutalize and murder are given the benefit of the doubt and are almost never punished in any way for their crimes. This is illegitimate and unacceptable. It must be STOPPED, and it's up to us to stop it! On New Year's Eve, we must act in many different ways to do just that.

If you think that police murder must STOP, be out in the streets with that message on New Year's Eve. Say in a loud, clear voice—NO NEW YEAR UNDER THIS OLD SYSTEM! And—WE CAN'T BREATHE! Bring your whistles and blow them loudly. Bring your signs and banners.

And if you think that torture, that violence against women and attacks on women's rights, that attacks on immigrants and the pillaging of the environment of the planet, that U.S. wars for empire and attacks on people for who they love and how they love and more must be stopped; join us in the streets on New Year's Eve. Bring your signs and banners too. Figure out imaginative ways to say NO MORE to all these horrors.

 


 

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Revolution #366 December 22, 2014

MURDER BY POLICE SHOULD NOT BE TOLERATED!

A statement from Carl Dix

December 20, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Special to Revolution/revcom.us

Today in America, police murder people and get away with no punishment. This happens again and again and again. But something new has also begun to happen, and people have risen up against this, in the tens of thousands, across the country. The outpourings of resistance to this wanton police murder have been beautiful, powerful, and very necessary. Our movement of resistance must broaden, becoming even more diverse, and its determination to stop police murder must be strengthened and deepened. It must continue and escalate until these horrors are really ended.

When police murder people as they did with Eric Garner and Michael Brown, it is unlawful, illegitimate and should not be tolerated in any society that anyone would want to live in.

 


 

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Revolution #366 December 22, 2014

Richard Pryor Routines...or Why Pigs Are Pigs

By Bob Avakian | December 18, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

This was first published as an article by BA over 30 years ago, and was then included in the book by BA, Reflections, Sketches & Provocations.  The piece refers to the “RW” – the Revolutionary Worker which has been renamed Revolution newspaper. It is being published again now because it remains very relevant—indeed more relevant and important than ever—in speaking to the murder of Black people and other oppressed people by police, why this keeps happening, and what can finally put an end to it.

The following is an excerpt from "Hill Street Bullshit, Richard Pryor Routines, and the Real Deal" by Bob Avakian, Chairman of the RCP. The complete essay, written in 1983, is in the book, Reflections, Sketches & Provocations by Bob Avakian.

Recently I was reading reports of police assaults on Black people and of Black people fighting against the police in Memphis and Miami. This called to mind a story I was told a while back. A rookie cop was riding in his police car with his veteran partner when a report came in that there was a Black man in the vicinity with a gun. As their car screeched around the corner, a young Black man suddenly appeared sprinting up an alley--into a dead end. "Shoot him!", the older cop screamed, "Go on, shoot him—it's free!"

"It's free!" Think about that for a second. "It's free!" In other words, here's a chance that gets a pig to sweating and salivating with anticipation—a chance to "kill a nigger" with the already provided cover that a Black man—a Black man, any Black man—was reported in the area with a gun. This is an opportunity too good to pass up: "Go on, shoot him—it's free!"

Well, in this case, the rookie was not ready for that--perhaps he was one of those rare ones who joins a police force actually believing the "serve and protect" bullshit—and that particular Black man did not die that day. But one of the most telling things about this whole incident is the fallout from it: The rookie cop had to resign. If he wasn't ready and willing—if he didn't have the proper attitude to do what his veteran partner was calling for, what came naturally to the seasoned "peace officer," what any pig in his place and in a pig's right mind would do—then there was no place for him on the force. It was he, the rookie who hadn't learned, and couldn't learn it seems, what it's all about—it was he who was the outcast and felt he had to resign...

Pigs are pigs. Of course, that's an image, a symbol—in the most literal sense they are human beings, but they are human beings with a murderer's mentality, sanctioned, disciplined, unleashed by the ruling class of society to keep the oppressed in line, through terror whenever necessary and as the "bottom line," as they like to say. Terror against the oppressed is even a special reward for "carrying out the dangerous and thankless duty" of being the "thin blue line" between "civilization on the one side and anarchy and lawlessness on the other." Think about it once again: Terror against the oppressed is not just part of the job, it's also a reward. That is one of the deeper meanings of the story at the start: "Go on, shoot him—it's free!"...

But maybe some liberals (of the "left" or "right") will object that these stories I've recounted are after all only stories, and even if we allow that they themselves are true stories, still they are only a few cases—the famous "isolated incidents" perhaps. Well, anyone who still really thinks that, or says it, has got to answer one basic question about the following Richard Pryor routine:

Cops put a hurtin' on your ass, man, you know. They really degrade you. White folks don't believe that shit, don't believe cops degrade;— "Ah, come on, those beatings, those people were resisting arrest. I'm tired of this harassment of police officers." Cause the police live in your neighborhood, see, and you be knowin' 'em as Officer Timpson. "Hello Officer Timpson, going bowling tonight? Yes, uh, nice Pinto you have, ha, ha, ha." Niggers* don't know 'em like that. See, white folks get a ticket, they pull over, "Hey, Officer, yes, glad to be of help, here you go." A nigger got to be talkin' 'bout "I AM REACH-ING INTO MY POCK-ET FOR MY LICENSE—'cause I don't wanna be no motherfuckin' accident!"

Police degrade you. I don't know, you know, it's often you wonder why a nigger don't go completely mad. No, you do. You get your shit together, you work all week, right, then you get dressed—maybe say a cat make $125 a week, get $80 if he lucky, right, and he go out, get clean, be drivin' with his old lady, goin' out to a club, and the police pull over, "Get outta the car, there was a robbery—nigger look just like you. Alright, put your hands up, take your pants down, spread your cheeks!" Now, what nigger feel like havin' fun after that? "No, let's just go home, baby." You go home and beat your kids and shit—you gonna take that shit out on somebody.

from That Nigger's* Crazy, 1974

The question is this: Why, at the crucial points of this routine, does Pryor's audience erupt in tense, knowing laughter, coupled with prolonged applause? Can it be for any other reason than the fact that Pryor has indeed captured and concentrated—with humor, higher than life, as art should be, but the stone truth, all too true, at the same time—a situation that is typical for the masses of Black people in the U.S.? Something which, if it has not happened directly to them (and the odds are pretty good that it has), is subject to happen to them tomorrow, or the next day, and has already happened to a relative or friend. To anyone who wants to defend the police, to say nothing of prettifying them, showing them as just ordinary human beings, etc., etc., ad nauseam; and even anyone who wants to raise pious doubts and petty amendments about calling them what they are, without reservation or apology; you can't get around this question: you have to confront it straight up. And don't tell me Pryor's audiences aren't a fair representation: The response will always be the same from any audience that includes a significant number of the masses of Black people, or other oppressed masses (as, in fact, is the case with the audience for Pryor's live performances).

A relevant fact here, drawn directly from "real life." I read in a recent RW, the report about the announcement by the Los Angeles District Attorney that—once again—no charges would be brought against the two pigs who beat and choked a 28-year-old Black man, Larry Morris, to death without any justification, even according to the authorities. The RW article went on to expose that "This is just the latest in more than 200 `investigations' of police murders [that is, murders of people by police] since the forming of the D.A.'s `Operation Rollout.' This program has so far endorsed the police's right to kill every time." And after everything else, we're still bound to hear from some quarters how this is just Los Angeles, where the police are known to be particularly brutal etc., etc. This really shouldn't have to be answered, but it does, so let me answer it by turning again to a Richard Pryor routine, this one from the same performance, in Washington, D.C. in 1978, as the one cited at the start of this article:

Police in L.A., man, they got a chokehold they use on motherfuckers. Do they do it here, do they choke you to death? (Voices from the audience, many voices from the audience: "Yeah!") That's some weird shit. Cause I didn't know it was a death penalty to have a parking ticket.

But for the masses of Black people in this "great land of freedom and justice for all" it can be—and it has been for hundreds, at least, every year. Of course, this kind of freedom and justice is not reserved for Black people alone in the U.S., though they are special "beneficiaries" of it. It also lashes out and ensnares millions of the masses of other oppressed nationalities, immigrants (so-called "legal" as well as so-called "illegal") and in general those who are without wealth and therefore without power, including many white people, for whom Officer Timpson is hardly a friend, either.

In short, the armed force of the bourgeois state exists for the purpose of suppressing, by force and arms, the proletariat and all those who would step out of line and challenge this "great way of life" founded on robbery and murder, not only within the U.S. itself but throughout the world. And that, simply, is why pigs are pigs, and will always be pigs—until systems that need such pigs are abolished from the earth. A hard truth—but a liberating truth.

* This material is reproduced here as it was performed by Richard Pryor at the time, including the use of the word "nigger"; this is for the sake of accuracy and not out of any disrespect for his feeling, after a trip to Africa, that he should no longer use the word "nigger" because it is dehumanizing.

 


 

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Revolution #366 December 22, 2014

Conclusion of the Opening Presentation by Bob Avakian at the November 15 Dialogue with Cornel West at Riverside Church in New York City

December 22, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The following is what Bob Avakian had prepared as the Conclusion of his Opening Presentation at the Dialogue with Cornel West on November 15, 2014, but it includes parts beyond what was actually presented by BA at the Dialogue itself. Watch the video of the Dialogue at www.revcom.us.

What gives meaning to life, what is truly a life with a purpose? Living in this country, in this cut-throat system that plunders the whole world, you are encouraged, and constantly pulled, to be absorbed in "self." The "selfie" is indeed a fitting icon of this culture. (Often what you hear sounds like a singer warming up: me, me, me...!) For the more privileged, there is all too often the sense of being entitled to all that is provided by nature and produced by the world's people, while remaining ignorant of, or deliberately ignoring, the terrible reality of life for the great majority of humanity, and for great numbers of people within this country. You know how it goes: "We're parasitic Amuricans—we don't have time to learn about the world, we're too busy gorging ourselves on it!" (Hashtag: "Parasitic Amuricans") Or, if you're in a more desperate situation, you are driven to hustle, scramble, and scuffle to get what you can—while things work to keep you from understanding why things are the way they are, and how they could be radically different. This is the way it is under this system. This is an empty, cold, cruel way of life, lacking in deeper meaning and higher purpose.

Now, once again we see people beginning to raise their heads, to break with the normal routine, to question and resist—to stand up and rise up. The question is, where will this go—where will it be led: back within the deadly dead-end trap, the killing confines, of this system, or building toward the real solution, a revolution to get rid of this system and bring something much better into being? Human life may be short, but it can be full of meaning—the meaning we give to it. As I have put it before: "If you have had a chance to see the world as it really is, there are profoundly different roads you can take with your life. You can just get into the dog-eat-dog, and most likely get swallowed up by that while trying to get ahead in it. You can put your snout into the trough and try to scarf up as much as you can, while scrambling desperately to get more than others. Or you can try to do something that would change the whole direction of society and the whole way the world is. When you put those things alongside each other, which one has any meaning, which one really contributes to anything worthwhile? Your life is going to be about something—or it's going to be about nothing. And there is nothing greater your life can be about than contributing whatever you can to the revolutionary transformation of society and the world, to put an end to all systems and relations of oppression and exploitation and all the unnecessary suffering and destruction that goes along with them. I have learned that more and more deeply through all the twists and turns and even the great setbacks, as well as the great achievements, of the communist revolution so far, in what are really still its early stages historically."

But let me say this: I am a confirmed atheist, and am firmly convinced that what we need to bring a much better world into being, is the method and the morals of communism, not religion; yet Cornel is much closer to my heart than many atheists. WHY? Because too many atheists use their atheism to sit smugly, satisfied with the world as it is, or even use it to justify the world as it is.

With Cornel there is none of that world-weary cynicism and small-minded snarkiness that serve as a convenient cover for remaining complacent, and complicit, with injustice and the continual horrors inflicted on the masses of humanity. Cornel is a voracious intellectual with a deep appreciation for the life of the mind, but who also understands that a role and responsibility of an intellectual is to stand with the wretched of the earth and take a stand in the fight against oppression. And I would much rather walk with Cornel than with a smug atheist.

Now don’t get me wrong, there are some very good atheists—communists, humanists and others, but all too many who are justifying going along with the way things are.

The movement I envision, and am working for, is one where people like Cornel and myself can walk together on the road of revolution and emancipation—uniting in the struggle to bring about a world where there will no longer be the wretched of the earth but human beings giving ever greater expression to their humanity, in a myriad of diverse ways—and, yes, we will argue, vigorously, about how to bring this into being, even as we proceed arm-in-arm together.

As I emphasized in Away With All Gods!: "In terms of the basis of unity in the political struggle, the dividing line should never be whether or not people believe in god and are religious, but whether they are willing to unite, and can be won to unite, in ways that are objectively in the interests of the masses of people. To the degree that they do so, it is necessary to build unity with them, and to struggle with them to do so more fully and consistently, even while struggle is also carried out with them, in the ideological realm, over the question of which worldview actually corresponds to reality and will lead to emancipation." In the broadest sense, the movement we need to radically change the world is one that embraces all those who are determined to fight injustice; is marked by unity, and struggle; largeness of mind and generosity of spirit. In this light, let me end with a call which I have made before and which seems very fitting on this occasion.

"AN INVITATION":

Let's go on a crucial journey together—full of unity against oppression and lively struggle about the source of the problem and the solution. Pursue your own convictions—that the outrages that move you are intolerable—to their logical conclusion, and be determined not to stop until those outrages have been eliminated. And if this, as well as learning about other outrages, and ideas about how this all fits together and flows from a common source—and how it could all be ended, and something much better brought into being—leads in the direction of seeing not only the need for bold and determined resistance, but also the need for revolution and ultimately communism, then don't turn away from that because it moves you beyond your comfort zone, challenges what had been your cherished beliefs, or because of prejudices and slanders. Instead, actively seek to learn more about this revolution and its goal of communism and to determine whether it is in fact the necessary, and possible, solution. And then act accordingly.

 

 

 


 

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Revolution #366 December 22, 2014

The Time Is Now!

Experience, dig into, spread, and support this Dialogue getting out in the world

December 15, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

This is the text of a talk given at the December 14 BA Everywhere Dinner Celebrations in cities across the country. The talk followed the showing of segments of the video of the November 15 Dialogue between Cornel West and Bob Avakian, “Revolution and Religion: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion.”

 

The preacher put the key under John Coltrane’s door, giving Trane the backing to develop. Not too many years later, Coltrane blew A Love Supreme out of his tenor sax, an inspiring gift to the world giving expression to the pain, the aspirations, and the beauty in the hearts of Black America and all who yearned for something more than what was, in the soulful and tumultuous 1960s. Cornel West made the point that together we can bring forth the new.

What humanity needs, what Cornel West and Bob Avakian came together to dialogue about, and what we are here for tonight, is to support and be a part of the great struggle to emancipate humanity. And as Bob Avakian brought out in the story at the end of the Dialogue, recalling the words of Mao Zedong spoken to W.E.B. Du Bois, is that while mistakes have been made on the path to liberation, the one mistake we have not made, and will not make, is the mistake of giving up. Indeed, a major point that BA made in his presentation and in the Q&A is that for humanity to be free, we must win, and that there is the framework and the leadership to do so, and he invited people to be a part of this great endeavor.

At a moment like this, aroused first by the actions of the determined ones in Ferguson, and now as tens of thousands are out in the streets; when people from every section of society are defiantly speaking out and acting in new ways... In a time like this, you can see in a beginning way what has been put forward in the RCP’s statement, “On the Strategy for Revolution”: that all this system does to the people, all the contradictions in the workings of the capitalist-imperialist system we live under, periodically erupts, jolting its normal workings; so that which people ordinarily tolerate, the feelings and anger so long held inside, and what all too many from better-off strata have closed their eyes to, bursts into the open—with people standing up, opening their eyes, saying Enough! And acting so that the whole world can see.

These are times when the pompous ruling tyrants of America who carry out inhuman torture and murder in the ’hoods and prisons of this country and who do the same around the world, all while proclaiming that this is the greatest country in the world, stand exposed in the eyes of millions for the murderous brutality that is the way of their system... A time when their inability to provide anything remotely close to a just world in which people could live like human beings stands nakedly exposed and their legitimacy begins to be called into question. This is a moment when people begin to sense their own potential.

No President Obama... the Torture Report is who and what America is... this was not an aberration—from the genocide of Native Americans to enshrining slavery down to today you can not find a year when the U.S. is not committing and justifying unspeakable crimes. At a moment like we are living through right now, the potential for far deeper change, for building the understanding and the organization to bring about a radically better world through revolution seems more possible, more real, to more people.

We break bread tonight, we celebrate, and we plan so that in 2015 what has begun over the summer and fall of this year continues—with people’s understanding, determination, and organized strength growing in leaps.

We just watched a small taste of the historic Dialogue that took place on November 15, 2014 between the revolutionary Christian, Cornel West, and the revolutionary communist leader, Bob Avakian. The world has not seen an event like this... 1,900 people at Riverside Church in NYC... from the projects of Harlem and Chicago; front-line fighters from Ferguson; parents whose children’s lives have been stolen by murdering police... high school and college students... and people from all walks of life, including world-renowned musicians, professors, actors, and filmmakers. Think about how unique this mix of people is, and the potential it represents. And for what? About what? For a rare opportunity to hear Bob Avakian in dialogue with Cornel West digging into REVOLUTION and Religion... The FIGHT for EMANCIPATION and the Role of Religion. At this moment. At this place. With these people.

BA and Cornel West electrified the room with a fire of intolerance for oppression, a deep palpable love of the people, and a passionate belief in people’s potential to change themselves and the world. No quarter was given to accept, acquiesce, or be complicit with the crimes and outrages of this system. BA and Cornel West struggled with the audience for a morality and a moral courage that these times demand. They fought for people to see the need for radical, revolutionary change—each of them coming from different philosophical frameworks. There was, as Cornel West forecast, transgression and convergence. They modeled and challenged the audience to think and to act on their convictions and to do so with courage.

This comes alive in an up-close way on the video of the simulcast that is available on www.revcom.us. You can feel Cornel West’s and Bob Avakian’s chemistry with each other and the audience—the rapport, respect and love, even when they disagree. All of this will be even more evident when a high-quality film is made of the event with the financial support that we are going to go forward from this celebration today to raise.

Right now, when hundreds of thousands of people do not want to go back, when eyes and hearts are opening, when people are finding their voice and their courage, when so much could be possible, when people are posing big questions like what will it take to end the oppression of Black people and the murder and incarceration of our youth... with all this in the air, people need to experience, dig into, spread, and support this Dialogue getting out in the world. It can have a big transformative impact on how people understand why all the horrors of the world today keep happening, and how they could be radically transformed and a new society, a new world, forged through revolution.

Bob Avakian’s opening presentation was a full-out, no-holds-barred, passionate presentation of why we need a revolution to overcome ALL forms of oppression and exploitation. Addressing the role of religion in the fight for emancipation, he broke down why we need to understand reality—that is, the world we live in—as it actually is. With great humor he made a scientific approach to reality understandable; and he brought forward a profound communist morality—of how the world ought to and could be through a revolution where all the divisions that this system sows between people could be overcome.

Think about the strategic potential in the audience’s powerful response to BA’s “What If’s” that we saw tonight in the excerpt from his talk. BA reframed all the horrors of the world as it torments and confines life today as questions of what could be, providing people with a materialist morality and a vision of what could be, posing: “What if the world doesn’t have to be this way?”

At this moment of upsurge, there is a tremendous basis and an urgent necessity to reach hundreds of thousands, if not millions, to see this Dialogue. For people here to be finding out what people think about it, and unleashing a social movement around the revolutionary content and the questions that are concentrated in the Dialogue.

The invitation to today’s dinner said: “Come together to celebrate the victories and achievements of the past year, even as we remember the outrages and horrors that people faced.”

When Eric Garner said to the pigs who were harassing him on July 17: “THIS STOPS TODAY,” a chain of events seems to have started, beginning with his murder, captured for the world to see on video. Then three weeks later, on August 9, Michael Brown was shot in a town few had heard of, but by the actions of the masses begun that night, Ferguson became a rallying cry the world over. Yet, these events concentrated a whole history that continues to be lived today.

These events are the legacy of what Bob Avakian has called the “simple and basic truth” that “There would be no United States as we now know it today without slavery,” a legacy that has continued, and morphed into new forms of white supremacy, still central to this society.

Six years into Obama and people’s hope for change has run up against the reality that he is the commander in chief of the whole system, and a war criminal to boot. And, it’s not just the oppression of Black people. Just this past year, tens of thousands of immigrant children were imprisoned on the border and many deported; a woman’s right to abortion was stripped away in state after state; and the environmental crisis grew even more dire.

Stepping into that situation this summer, the Abortion Rights Freedom Ride put forward a program of determined struggle for the right of women to control their own destinies. September saw the biggest demonstration against global warming in U.S. history. This too was a summer when the Call for a Month of Resistance to Mass Incarceration issued by Cornel West and Carl Dix was spreading, culminating in defiant demonstrations on October 22.

The current upsurge, which seems to have come out of nowhere, did not come from nothing. All of this, from the nature of the system and its workings, the responses and anger of people, and the conscious work of revolutionaries and others contribute to the mix. What is even more important at moments and junctures like this is raising people’s sights to a radically different world, grappling with what is the underlying problem, and what is the solution to all the madness and horrors that people are confronting, resisting and rising up against, in the thousands and in the millions.

This speaks to the immediate and long-term import of people coming to know about Bob Avakian and the work he has done. This is the purpose and mission of the BA Everywhere campaign. It is a mass, multifaceted fundraising campaign to make BA and the work he has done known in every corner of the country.

From the excerpts we watched earlier from the November 15 Dialogue, you got a living sense of BA’s love and feeling for the masses of people, his sense of outrage and hatred for all the ways in which people suffer needlessly, and his fire for revolution. This is the product of decades of work, sacrifice, and risk to develop the scientific method, the strategy, and the vision that humanity needs to get free. Bob Avakian has developed a new synthesis of communism which is a scientific method for knowing and changing the world. Communism is method, it is a revolutionary political movement, and it is an actual goal of a society that really could be... free of all forms of oppression and exploitation. And BA’s work has put this on a more scientific foundation, made it more viable and visionary.

With a combination of far-sighted vision and great practicality, BA leads the RCP, USA so that it is out in the world, standing with the people, FIGHTING THE POWER, AND TRANSFORMING THE PEOPLE, FOR REVOLUTION. Bringing to people the understanding they need through Revolution newspaper and www.revcom.us. Working concretely today to GET ORGANIZED FOR AN ACTUAL REVOLUTION.

We have just made an enormous step in making BA known on a whole other level through the November 15 Dialogue. But, we have just begun. The video of the simulcast has been watched by thousands online. Tens and hundreds of thousands need to see it. Now, in the thick of the upsurge, and in ongoing way.

For the next two months, getting this Dialogue seen, watched, and discussed will be the central focus of the BA Everywhere campaign. Tens of thousands of dollars need to be raised to make and promote a high-quality film of the event.

Today we are putting forward some basic elements of a plan that can be enriched and developed by growing BA Everywhere Committees around the country, by Revolution Clubs where they exist, by Revolution Books stores, and by everyone who recognizes the difference it could make if people saw this Dialogue, engaged the content of it, and involved others in supporting and making it a big deal. Here we go:

# 1) A reader wrote revcom.us: “we have to bring people back to, and bring them forward from, this Dialogue between Bob Avakian and Cornel West,” watching it together, asking them what they think of it, what their questions are, and digging into it. We are in a moment when people are out all day and often into the night fighting the power. What a great way to raise and deepen understanding of why these outrages keep happening and what is to be done today in preparation for tomorrow than for people to watch and dig into “Revolution and Religion: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion, A Dialogue between Cornel West and Bob Avakian.”

# 2) What better time to do this than over the holidays? Watch it with everyone you can. House parties and showings. Send the link out to everyone. Distribute 100,000 palm cards starting now and on through January. Raise funds. Use the new donation cards to raise funds from relatives, friends, and people you meet.

# 3) As soon as school starts after the new year, set up showings in classes, in dorms, in high school and college clubs. Palm cards and posters for the Dialogue should be everywhere on campuses.

# 4) Reach out to people who could donate big money to make a high-quality film of the event. The event was professionally filmed and great footage exists, different from what is in the simulcast. Show the simulcast so people get a sense of its power and potential.

# 5) The movement for BA Everywhere needs to grow, and spreading the Dialogue holds the potential for many people to take it up. BA Everywhere Committees should broaden and involve all of those who see, or who can be won to see, that it would make a very big difference if what is represented by Bob Avakian and the new synthesis were to be a point of reference, the subject of discussion and debate throughout society—even as they are themselves coming to know more about it, and are working out their thinking. Alive with discussions of the Dialogue and the responses to it, the BA Everywhere Committees will reach out to all sections of the people. In the projects and the neighborhoods... involving people experienced in social media, film production and/or the graphic arts... lawyers, doctors, social workers and teachers... prominent and wealthy people financially supporting and using their public platform to make this known.

***

In conclusion, we have spoken of bringing people back to this Dialogue and we have looked briefly back at 2014 and what has changed and what is changing. All of this is for the purpose of moving forward—to enable tens and hundreds of thousands and even millions to come to see and feel that, indeed, humanity does not have to live like this. BA, Bob Avakian, and the Party he leads, and this Dialogue are about getting free. People need to know that there is a viable vision, plan, and leadership to bring forward a radically different and far better world through revolution. Today, more than ever they have ears to hear this message. Let’s bring it.

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/365/some-points-of-orientation-principle-and-method-regarding-the-accusations-against-bill-cosby-en.html

Revolution #366 December 22, 2014

Some Points of Orientation, Principle, and Method Regarding the Accusations Against Bill Cosby

Updated July 20, 2015 \ Originally published December 18, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

This article was originally posted at revcom. us on December 18, 2014. While various depositions Bill Cosby has given have come to light since this article was written, the method and approach argued for in this article remain very important.

 

Fundamental relations of oppression, and fundamental matters of principle and method, are involved in regard to these accusations against Bill Cosby, and how this is approached. It is a very real phenomenon, and an egregious outrage, that many women who are raped and sexually assaulted are then intimidated, or otherwise prevented, from coming forward or from pursuing this. This needs to be resolutely opposed and fought against. At the same time, as outrageous as this is, as much as it is an additional assault on these women and on women overall, that is not the same thing as saying, and should not lead to an approach that says, that every accusation of rape or sexual assault is automatically (or almost certainly) true—nor even that if there are many people making similar accusations, then those accusations are therefore true (there have been more than a few instances where multiple accusations against a person have proven to be false). What is true has to be determined by a scientific approach, relying on evidence and the correct analysis and synthesis of what the evidence as a whole indicates. Accusations are a kind of evidence—as are denials of those accusations—but in and of themselves they do not constitute a sufficient basis to draw definite conclusions.

It is not possible at this point to determine—on a sound, scientific basis—whether these accusations against Bill Cosby (or his denials) are true. What is clear is what the major mass media are doing and how this creates and contributes to a very bad atmosphere and approach to things. What has been unfolding with this whole media campaign around Bill Cosby is in no way an attempt to create and encourage an approach that contributes to getting to the truth of the matter and seeking justice, but rather one that works against and undermines that and feeds a frenzied culture of "tear down blood lust" that these media have already done much to create and foster. What we see in the way these media operate in situations such as this—a process that hardly involves even a pretense, let alone any real substance, of due process, which in fact such mass media are not designed or constituted to create—is a one-sided "trial by media" and a "media tyranny" where, once a person has been targeted, there is no real basis or possibility for them to defend themselves in any meaningful way—where denials are treated as evasions and yet more occasion for going after the person—and all this works, in very harmful ways, to create and reinforce the kind of culture and atmosphere that no decent human being should want

Our Party has put forward very sharp criticisms of Bill Cosby, based on what he has clearly said and done, in his attacks on the masses of basic Black people—blaming them in effect for their conditions of oppression—attacks by Cosby which have been welcomed and widely broadcast, in a favorable way, over many years, by the very mass media that are now relentlessly going after Bill Cosby. Criticizing, even sharply denouncing, someone based on what they have undeniably said and done—for example, how Bill Cosby has repeatedly attacked masses of Black people and aggressively upheld doing so–is very different from how these major mass media have proceeded in regard to accusations of rape and sexual assault against Bill Cosby which (at this point at least) have not been proven and which he denies.

Something that very few, if any, commentators, etc., seem to be raising, but which should be very much a part of the overall approach to this, is the question: Has Bill Cosby in some way angered forces in society who in fact wield much more wealth and power than Cosby does—forces among the ruling class of this society, including those who own and control the major mass media—and what might this have to do with the role that these media are playing in all this? And another dimension to this that needs to be explored is: Does the way the media are dealing with accusations against Bill Cosby have something to do with other things going on in society, in particular the assaults on Black people, and more particularly Black men, being carried out in a concentrated and acute way now by the ruling class and its major institutions, including the mass media as well as the police and the "legal system"? The fact that Bill Cosby has himself, over many years, said and done things which constitute very harmful reactionary attacks against the basic masses of Black people does not necessarily rule out the possibility that the way he is being gone after now might in some way be linked to, or part of, an overall assault going on against Black people.

These kinds of things, which do need to be thought about and explored, are not the same as, and do not answer the question, whether the accusations of rape and sexual assault being made against Bill Cosby are in fact true, or false. That is something that needs to be determined in its own right—through a scientific approach and method—and it may be the case that it will not be possible, at least for some time, to definitively determine this (or determine it with sufficient scientifically-based certainty). While that remains the case, and even as efforts are made to scientifically approach and evaluate this, and  other possible dimensions of what is going on with this whole thing around Bill Cosby, it is very important to fight to, first of all, create the kind of atmosphere in society overall and in different institutions and parts of society, that make it much more difficult for rape and sexual assault to be carried out, and that encourage and support women in resisting this and in coming forward to raise this and seek justice when it does happen, while at the same time insisting on a consistent approach of proceeding in relation to accusations of rape and sexual assault, and accusations of crimes and wrongdoing in general, through a process that relies on a scientific method and approach and where the kind of "trial by media" and "media tyranny" that is so commonplace these days, and the very poisonous atmosphere this creates and reinforces, will be firmly rejected and denounced.*


*Where a person is involved as an accused in legal proceedings, but this person is part of the apparatus of state power, and the "prosecutor" is also part of the apparatus of state power—such as those very rare instances where a cop who kills someone has their case brought before a judge or grand jury, and the even more rare cases where this actually goes to a criminal trial—and particularly because there has been, over a whole long period of time, a very clear pattern where killings of this kind are almost always declared "justifiable," it is correct, there is a sound scientific basis, for believing that the regular procedures of the legal system are very unlikely to result in a just outcome, and that any investigation and legal procedures involved are very likely to be fundamentally tainted in a way to result in no indictment or, in the very rare cases of indictment, no conviction. But that is different from a situation involving an individual, even an individual with considerable wealth and influence, who is not part of the apparatus of state power.

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/365/avakian-serious-about-making-an-actual-revolution-en.html

Revolution #366 December 22, 2014

Serious About Making an Actual Revolution

December 18, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

A Statement from the Revolutionary Communist Party - ON THE STRATEGY FOR REVOLUTION

 

 

CONSTITUTION For The New Socialist Republic In North America

 

You Don't Know What You Think You 'Know' About... The Communist Revolution and the REAL Path to Emancipation: Its History and Our Future - An Interview with Raymond Lotta

“What I can say is that this is serious. We’re taking this very seriously. And I would direct you to the website, revcom.us, and Revolution newspaper, and what we get into in documents like On the Strategy for Revolution; On the Possibility of actually making revolution and winning; what the new society should be like as envisioned in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America; what we can learn from the previous experience of communist revolutions as set forward in an interview with Raymond Lotta, The Communist Revolution and the REAL Path to Emancipation: Its History and Our Future. If we’re serious—and we have to be serious—then we need to dig into all this and grapple with it. And a lot more people need to be doing this.

“We need to not just resist, though we definitely need to resist and we can’t put up with any more of this outrage any longer. But we have to go on and fight to actually create the basis to go all out and win–and put an end to this madness once and for all.”

—Bob Avakian
From “REVOLUTION & RELIGION: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion
A Dialogue between Cornel West and Bob Avakian

(Riverside Church, New York City, November 15, 2014)

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/366/what-is-an-actual-revolution-en.html

Revolution #366 December 22, 2014

What IS an Actual Revolution?

December 22, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

An actual revolution is a lot more than a protest. An actual revolution requires that millions of people get involved, in an organized way, in a determined fight to dismantle this state apparatus and system and replace it with a completely different state apparatus and system, a whole different way of organizing society, with completely different objectives and ways of life for the people. Fighting the power today has to help build and develop and organize the fight for the whole thing, for an actual revolution. Otherwise we’ll be protesting the same abuses generations from now!

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/366/us-opens-new-concentration-camp-for-immigrants-on-texas-mexico-border-en.html

Revolution #366 December 22, 2014

U.S. Opens New Concentration Camp for Immigrants on Texas-Mexico Border

December 22, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

On December 14, Jeh Johnson, Secretary of Homeland Security in the Obama administration, travelled to Dilley, Texas, to announce the opening of a new detention center for immigrants, primarily immigrant women and children. This new, privately run jail will immediately begin taking in prisoners and will reach its intended capacity of 2,400 prisoners by May 2015.

The new prison is opening shortly after a major change in immigration policy declared in an executive order by Obama last month. Obama’s order focused on the promise of temporary relief from deportation for some immigrants, and an escalation of harshly repressive measures along the border. (See “Obama’s Immigration Moves—and the Need for Increased Resistance” for a fuller analysis of Obama’s measures towards immigrants and the intense conflicts in the ruling class.)

August 2, 2014: Immigrants' rights protest in Washington, DC

August 2, 2014: Immigrants’ rights protest in Washington, DC (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

The U.S. government gave its new children’s prison the innocuous-sounding name “South Texas Family Residential Center.” Articles in the mainstream media invariably describe its “medical care and counselors, trailer classrooms, library and email access, and a basketball court and playgrounds...”—as if the federal government contracted the infamous CCA (Corrections Corporation of America, which should more accurately be known as the Concentration Camps of Amerikkka), to build a summer camp or recreation center for poor kids. But a lawyer who has struggled to represent immigrant families held in Artesia, New Mexico, and other locations spoke to the reality of the Dilley prison: “I’m at a loss for words to imagine what Dilley will look like with so many 6-year-olds detained behind razor wire.”

Dilley is a desolate, harsh, and remote town northeast of Laredo. It is well removed from potential legal support for the immigrant detainees in Austin, San Antonio, and other Texas cities. The new prison camp is on land squeezed between a state prison unit and a so-called “man camp”—temporary barracks for hundreds of workers fracking oil and natural gas.

Other prisons for immigrant families have a well-documented history of abuse, rape, and dehumanizing conditions, including harsh abuse of children. In 2009, a CCA facility for immigrant children in Hutto, Texas, was shut down after prolonged protests against its stark, punishing conditions and accusations of vicious, ongoing sexual abuse. Another prison for immigrant women and children, in Karnes City, Texas, is facing a lawsuit charging repeated sexual harassment of women and alleging that sexual abuse, extortion, and harassment by guards is continual. Women held there report that they are constantly exhausted because they have to carry their infant children all the time—no crawling or scampering is allowed.

The Dilley prison camp is a cornerstone of the Obama policy towards repressing immigrants and controlling the border with massive militarization. It will provide the means for expediting the deportation of captured immigrants—what one official cynically called “one-stop shopping.” Immigrant families will be caged, run through a cursory and sham legal proceeding, and deported from the same facility in a few weeks.

One key aim of the aggressive moves on immigration Obama began last month has been to promote divisions among immigrants—by promising some temporary reprieve from deportation for those who qualify under government criteria to “come out of the shadows,” and even harsher repression and criminalization for those who don’t qualify. Those in the second category include people who have been in the U.S. for years and people still trying to enter el norte because of the devastation the U.S. has wreaked upon their homelands.

Jeh Johnson made this clear in his statements at Dilley when he said: “Our new policies... draw a sharp distinction between past and future. Those who came here illegally in the past, have been here for years, have committed no serious crimes, and have become integrated members of American life, are not priorities for removal. But, all those who came here illegally after January 1, 2014, in other words, beginning of this year, are now priorities for removal to their home countries. This must be clear going forward: Our borders are not open to illegal migration.” The New York Times reported that Johnson, “Standing on a dirt road lined with cabins in a barren compound enclosed by fencing... delivered a blunt message to families without legal papers considering a trip to the United States: ‘It will now be more likely that you will be detained and sent back.’”

Obama’s immigration speech, and now the opening of the family prison in Dilley, mark a significant escalation in the government’s efforts to drive immigrants “out of the shadows,” repress and control them, escalate and speed up deportations, and pile even more military and police equipment and forces into an already saturated U.S.-Mexico border. They also reveal how leading representatives of the system of U.S. capitalism-imperialism both depend on intensified exploitation of immigrants and fear their potential to be an essential part of struggles against this system.

All attacks on immigrants must be resisted by all sections of the people—and it is crucial that this resistance step up in the months ahead.

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/366/awtwns-tugce-albayrak-a-heroic-and-inspirational-act-en.html

Revolution #366 December 22, 2014

From A World To Win News Service

Tuğçe Albayrak—A heroic and inspirational act

December 22, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

15 December 2014. A World to Win News Service. In the bathroom at a McDonald’s in Offenbach, Germany on the evening of 15 November, two teenage girls were screaming for help. A 22-year-old German-born student of Turkish origin, Tuğçe Albayrak, heard their cries and alone rushed to their aid. She found several men harassing the two young girls and stopped them.

Later when Tuğçe left the McDonald’s, one of the young men took revenge on her in the parking lot. He beat her over the head with a baseball bat or other very hard object. She fell unconscious to the ground. A young man who was taken into custody initially admitted striking her on the head now refuses to say more.

The story of Tuğçe’s heroic act, covered by international media and many blogs, touched the hearts of hundreds of thousands of people throughout the world. With tears and anger, people of all backgrounds and ages from cities across Germany poured into the streets in demonstrations of tribute to her. Candlelight vigils were held at the hospital where she lay in a coma for two weeks before doctors pronounced her brain dead. Her parents decided to remove her from life support on 28 November, her 23rd birthday.

Demonstrators in Berlin hold photos of Tugce Albayrak, November 30, 2014

November 30, 2014: Demonstrators in Berlin hold photos of Tuğçe Albayrak. AP photo

In an effort to burnish its image, McDonald’s took out a full page ad in Bild, one of Germany’s largest selling newspapers, in Turkish and German: “We mourn the loss of an extraordinary woman who showed courage and lost her life... In this moment, our thoughts are with the family of Tuğçe Albayrak, we wish them strength in this difficult time.” Cynically, McDonald’s added it condemns any kind of violence, “especially in and around our restaurants”.

In the face of this outpouring from people across the country, the German president was obliged to make a public statement to her family. “Our entire country mourns with you. Where other people looked away, Tuğçe showed exemplary courage.”

The hypocrisy of this statement is stunning. The oppression of people from non-German backgrounds living in Germany has a long history rooted in German imperialism and the structural relations embedded within. “Guest workers” from Turkey who played a huge role in German prosperity after WWII have never been welcomed in the closed society that Germany is.

The structure of oppressive social relations in German society is not only anti-immigrant but also anti-woman. Traditional public opinion scorns a working mother as a Rabenmutter, a heartless “raven mother” who should be at home caring for children rather than pushing them out of their nest. Early child care and schools are often organised so that the hours are inflexible, making it difficult for women to work at more than part-time jobs. Alongside this aspect of patriarchal relations, Germany is home to the biggest brothels in Europe. In fact, the county has been called one giant brothel, where more than one million men pay for sex every day. So women out in the evening unaccompanied by men are considered fair game for other men to prey on them. The young man who killed Tuğçe to defend male “right” may not have been born in Germany, but he learned society’s lessons very well.

Tuğçe Albayrak broke through some of these social constraints in many ways. Aspiring to teach high school youth, she was an excellent student with a full life before her. When she rescued the two teenage girls, all that was snuffed out because she refused to look the other way.

Now almost 200,000 people have signed an online petition to get the German government to honour her bravery by awarding her the National Order of Merit. What is it in this situation that has touched people so deeply?

By many “good German” standards Tuğçe was not one of them, yet she defended one of “theirs.” She broke out of the stultifying societal confines of how people are supposed to think and act: “mind your own business,” “keep your head down” and “look out for number one.” She dared to stand up to the male privilege that society tells men is their birthright.

That so many people have been moved by Tuğçe shows that the oppressive, narrow-minded and suffocating culture that characterizes not just German society but Western countries in general is not inherent in human nature. It arises from and helps perpetuate a system that people are forced to live under. That so many people were inspired by an act that provided a glimpse of a different way of thinking and being shows what could be unleashed if people saw the real possibility of stepping out of the confines of the old ways to help bring into being a world of mutual respect free of all relations of domination and exploitation.

Tuğçe’s heroic act was inspiring and forward-looking, a manifesto of non-accommodation to the world as it presently is.

 

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

 

 


 

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Revolution #366 December 22, 2014

From A World To Win News Service

To the street fighters in the USA from the Iranian Youth Committee in Belgium

December 22, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

15 December 2014. A World to Win News Service. The following is by the Iranian Youth Committee in Belgium.

Viva international solidarity! They call us thugs, because we want to change the world!

When there are dead bodies here and there, there is nothing for thanksgiving... I can’t breathe... This situation must be stopped... No one can stay on the sidelines...

As the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, and also the exoneration of the criminal police outraged us, the news of your brave battle with the police in New York City, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, Baltimore, Boston and other cities in the USA have enthused all the revolutionary people as well as us. Hope for change has been revived in the hearts of thousands of people.

Your outrage for this manifest injustice and your fights against the brutality of the police force, the main arm of this suppressive system, has endangered imperialism’s “safety” in the safe house of so-called “democracy”. Your fights against the “exporters” of bourgeois democracy has clearly revealed the real face of this system to the extent that they cannot hide it from the victims of the capitalist system, the victims whose hearts were full of hatred of the new world order, but now those hearts are beating for all protesters throughout the streets of America.

Accept our red greetings from Europe. We are a group of young people, standing up again after the reactionary regime repressed the Iranian revolutionary people. Under the suppressive system and massacres of one of the most reactionary regimes in Middle East, our slogan throughout all universities was: “No to reaction, no to imperialism”. We aimed to prove nothing can stop us from dreaming of a better world. Suppression, murder, intimidation, assassination, disappointment, pessimistic voices saying change is impossible and preaching at us to slow down—all this never made us stop dreaming.

History has always shown that protesters who dream and come up with their ideas, they do the right job, even if to realize their deepest ambitions, they sacrifice their lives. So again, accept our revolutionary heartfelt greetings and our ambitious wishes from Europe.

On the 61st anniversary of Student Day in Iran (7 December), we graft our movement onto your protest. In 1953, after the success of an imperialist coup, U.S. vice president Richard Nixon visited the Shah of Iran in Tehran for another allegiance. During the student protest against this meeting and other colonial agreements, three students were killed by the police in the university. Since then, 7 December has been the symbol of the student movement against domestic tyranny and foreign intervention. This day as a historically important day of uprising in Iran, fortunately, is still a symbol of ongoing protest against the theocratic Islamic regime and imperialist military intervention led by the USA.

In our view, today, the fight of American protesters is part of evolving international fight by all oppressed people around the world, and we do believe that we are also part of this stream.

Protests were firstly begun after the murder of Mike Brown. After the murder of Eric Garner, people were confronted with the corrupt judicial system in the United State of America. It revealed this reality that: No one can stay on the sidelines.

Yes, Black people have arisen in the USA; a lot of other people have joined them and occupied streets. This is a significant uprising against historical injustice and oppression. Black oppression is one of the essential bases of white imperialist governments. The ridiculous and painful part of this tragedy is that to get away from the consequences of this historical oppression, apparently the system is under the control of a Black president.

Obama, after being elected the president of America, tried to create a false hope in the hearts of the progressive people including the majority of Black people. Now, we find out that he is nothing but a Black driver for the white giant imperialist suppressive machine. He claims that his being the commander of this huge machine shows great racial progress while he calls all protesters plug-uglies. He thinks protesting against the judicial system in the USA is a kind of vandalism and illegal.

In the same way, the Islamic Republic of Iran has called Iranian protesters “dust” and “brushwood”. Although these kinds of reactionary powers might sound in conflict with imperialist interests, all of them use the same methods against their protesters. That’s why your rebellion and ours are absolutely right and must go on to the end.

According to the revolutionary comrade Carl Dix: This situation needs to be stopped.

It is necessary to stay in streets, scream and fight to stop police violence and murders.

They fire tear gas, fake and real bullets, but you continue to protest. You block the streets with your bodies lying down there. You organize progressive actions in your workplaces. You turn universities and schools into bastions of your struggle, and you roar the revolution.

Yes! Some of you properly emphasize that “Revolution is not an instantaneous event”!

Revolution is a gradual process in which oppressed and outraged people are being informed to take control of the authority, and to change the social relationships through conscious leadership. People on the sidelines will occupy mainlines and will graft their emancipation to the emancipation of all human beings. They will graft it to Mexican protesters who revolted against the government that kidnapped students, Palestine and Kurdistan, Iran and India, North Africa, and at the end, they will shout the emancipation of all human beings. Such a revolution should be led, otherwise it may be defeated and turned back by other forces.

Our revolutionary comrades! Protesters! Democratic and republican parties and all colourful forces are trying to push you back into your homes by threatening, massacring, deceiving, making shallow promises, or negotiating with compromisers who call themselves your representatives. Reactionary priests keep on preaching and calling you “thugs and plug-uglies” in the holy days of Christmas and New Year.

Some of the officials are talking about the communist intervention. The media describes you as plug-uglies. Police forces in European countries are on high alert because they smell danger. When the lord’s house is on fire, all partners and flunkies start extinguishing it by any means.

While it is indeed in danger, the world is starved for a new voice, a new approach to revive a new struggle; a campaign aimed to make a new free world, without any collusion with corrupted powers. Oppressed people must increase their courage more than at any other time to understand all these scientific facts in a scientific way. They need to deal with its complications, and resist to realize and create such a free world. The people need to have revolutionary leaders to do so. Suppressed people, especially the youth, must dare more than others. They must study, draw an intellectual horizon, and dream to crush this depraved system.

Undoubtedly, you and we must develop revolutionary movements that aim for making a world without any oppression, without catastrophic devastating wars of the imperialists, without religious subjugation; a world without massive distortion by the enormous wealth accumulated in a few imperialist countries while on the other side, there are exploited masses increasing day by day; a world without patriarchy, segregation, homosexuals inequity, and religious discrimination; a world without false concepts such as unchangeable human nature. It is certainly possible to make such a world.

We are with you. We are your allies. They call us thugs, because we want to change the world. We are communist revolutionaries since we want REVOLUTION, nothing less!

We go outside in the streets, together all in groups! We go to shout that capitalism is bankrupt! We go to show our will to fight to the end! We go but we won’t tie our fate to the will of reactionary leaders! We go to take our fate in our hands. To stay determined in our way to the end, we must be awake and aware! We need conscious leaders! The choice is ours; others made their own! Our choice is revolution!

 

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.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/366/preparing-for-the-time-when-we-can-go-for-the-whole-thing-sustain-revcom-us-and-revolution-en.html

Revolution #366 December 22, 2014

Preparing for the Time When We Can Go for the Whole Thing...
Sustain revcom.us and Revolution!

December 22, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

In a world of humanity chained and brutalized into the most painful and outrageous exploitation and oppression, where billions struggle to survive...

Los Angeles. Special to revcom.us

At a moment in the “belly of the beast” when for the first time in decades millions, including those who this system has cast off and condemned as “thugs,” are raising their heads and fighting the powers that be....

Think about what a difference it makes to have revcom.us on the Internet, and Revolution online and in print reaching deep into society from the prisons to professionals, the housing projects to the universities:

WWW.REVCOM.US/REVOLUTION NEWSPAPER brings alive a scientific analysis of major events in society and the world—why they are happening, how different events and developments relate to each other, how all this relates to the system we live under, where people's interests lie in relation to all this, how revolution is in fact the solution to all this and what the goals of that revolution are, how different viewpoints and programs relate, positively or negatively, to the revolution that is needed, and how people can move, and are moving, to build toward that revolution. Revcom.us/Revolution is the guide, the pivot, the crucial tool in drawing forward, orienting, training, and organizing thousands, and influencing millions—fighting the power, and transforming the people, for revolution—hastening and preparing for the time when we can go for the whole thing, with a real chance to win.

Hit the pause button a moment and rewind on that. Read through the previous paragraph once more. Stop along the way and think about everything revcom.us and Revolution mean to “hastening and preparing for the time when we can go for the whole thing with a real chance to win.”

Now let’s be real: without YOU becoming a financial sustainer, and inviting and challenging others to sustain, revcom.us and Revolution cannot exist.

Here’s how you can do that:

  1. Commit to sustain financially each month. Send checks or money orders to RCP Publications, Box 3486 Merchandise Mart, Chicago, IL 60654 -- make checks payable to "RCP Publications". Or sign up online to sustain automatically each month by credit card here. (Regular sustainers are key to the viability of revcom.us/Revolution, but you can also make one-time donations).
  2. Pull together (or revive) a group of people who sustain each month. Take responsibility to collect their contributions – saved up in penny jars, raised by bringing cans to the recycling center or from bake sales... or dropped off at your office or cubicle – and send those in to RCP Publications, Box 3486 Merchandise Mart, Chicago, IL 60654 (make checks payable to "RCP Publications") or send in the collected funds by credit card here.
  3. Email or write us with why you are sustaining revcom.us/Revolution, your experiences raising funds and your thoughts on the importance of this website and paper – email revolution.reports@yahoo.com or write c/o RCP Publications, Box 3486 Merchandise Mart, Chicago, IL 60654

 


 

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Revolution #366 December 22, 2014

Points of Orientation in the Wake of Events on December 20, 2014

December 21, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Two New York City police officers were shot and killed on Saturday, December 20.  The police have stated that they identified and chased the assailant and that the alleged assailant killed himself in the subway.  This has become a major news story and has been seized on to carry forward a major political attack on the movement to stop police murders.

In evaluating what is going on, and without commenting on the incident at hand, people need to be clear on some key underlying truths.  First, as has been brought to light through research, police and other security personnel in the U.S. kill someone nearly every day, and very many of these victims are unarmed and not even alleged to be committing a crime.  New York has an entire roster of people, mainly Black and Latino, murdered by police while unarmed—this includes Amadou Diallo, murdered as he stood in his doorway reaching for his wallet; Patrick Dorismond, who told an undercover narcotics officer to get out of his face; Anthony Baez, whose crime was that his football hit a police car; Malcolm Ferguson, slain days after participating in a protest against the exoneration of the pigs who murdered Diallo; Eleanor Bumpurs, a grandmother supposedly resisting eviction; Nicholas Heyward Jr., a 13-year-old boy playing with a toy gun; Ramarley Graham, murdered in his bathroom by a rampaging pig; Sean Bell, Akai Gurley, Eric Garner, Kimani Gray, Gidone Busch, and many many others.  In fact, you can travel to the house of Margarita Rosario in the Bronx where an entire side of her house is a mural containing the names of these stolen lives, just for New York City—including the names of her son and nephew, Anthony Rosario and Hilton Vega, murdered by NYPD officers as they lay face down.

This speaks to the reality of the racist and murderous brutality of the police and the whole apparatus of repression of this system, which is widespread, continual, and systematic, and which is not simply a particular feature of the NYPD but is characteristic of police and the "injustice system" in the country as a whole, in the service of a brutally oppressive system, a system which has white supremacy built into its very foundation and structure.

Second, at long last, after yet two more unarmed Black men were murdered by police and their killers were not even indicted, a powerful movement for justice has arisen.  When this movement did not “peter out,” to paraphrase NYPD chief Bratton, governments all over the country took measures to suppress this.  In New York, these measures included lawsuits from Mayor de Blasio demanding the ability to sweep up, detain and arrest demonstrators en masse without warning; hysterical “trials by media” of someone accused of throwing a garbage can during a protest and others attempting to defend a protester against attack and arrest, right down to “Wanted” front-page pictures in tabloids of the people alleged to have defended a protester and urgings to the readers to turn them in; and more and more arrests of demonstrators; etc.  (It should also be noted that for all the talk of a new, more “permissive” NYPD, hundreds were nevertheless arrested for exercising their rights in the early days of the protests.)

Third, this event also happens against the backdrop of intense antagonism among different sections of the ruling class and government apparatus, especially between the police themselves and sections of the bourgeoisie supporting a continued “free hand” for the pigs, and the camp of de Blasio, which has made a show of (supposedly) discontinuing some elements of the former repressive package while maintaining and intensifying others.  Even these essentially cosmetic changes have been too much for some in the ruling class.   These conflicts have also featured incidents to which there seems very likely to be more than meets the eye, and the utilization of leaks to the media to discredit and/or effectively convict people who have gotten in the way of powerful forces. 

In this atmosphere, given the NYPD’s proven record of lying (there are currently scandals in New York of cops framing scores and perhaps hundreds of innocent people), frame-ups (the notorious case of the Central Park 5), and setups (the police whistleblower Frank Serpico in the 1970s nearly lost his life to his “brother police”), nobody should believe any story that comes from the NYPD nor take at face value anything out of the mouth of anyone connected to the police department.

Now this incident is being used to distort the character of this protest movement and to nip it in the bud.  Let us return to the facts: the police kill hundreds of people a year, and are rarely if ever even threatened with being brought to trial.  Let us dig into a deeper fact: these murders grow out of a system of white supremacy which has been bred into the bone and psyche of this rotten society since Day One and which, while it has morphed into different forms over the centuries to meet the changing needs and circumstances of those who have ruled America, has never been eradicated.  Today the police departments have in large part replaced the patrollers of slavery days and the lynch mobs of Jim Crow—but the function is the same. 

Given all that, the protests that have been going on, and the new protests that are being planned, should not and must not cease and must indeed deepen and grow even more broad, diverse and determined.  People must not allow themselves to be thrown on the defensive.  Further: the serious repressive moves by the de Blasio/Bratton administration must be strongly opposed, and the attempts now by de Blasio to turn everyone in New York into a snitch should absolutely NOT be tolerated.

Finally, without in any way commenting on this incident, let the following be noted: We are building a movement for revolution—a revolution which, in order to have a real possibility of winning, would need to involve millions of people who have become convinced of the need for this revolution and who, with the emergence of a deep-going revolutionary crisis in society, would be determined to fight to carry out such a revolutionary struggle and fight to win.  All of the work we are doing is aimed at contributing to the development of such a revolutionary movement, guided by this strategic understanding, orientation and approach.  If people want to learn more about our strategy for revolution—as well as why we think such a revolution is urgently needed by the masses of humanity, and why and how it is possible—they should further check out this website revcom.us. 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/366/importance-of-actions-on-new-years-eve-en.html

Revolution #366 December 22, 2014

What is the importance of the actions that have been called for on New Year's Eve, from the standpoint of actually making revolution—at the soonest possible time?

December 20, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

If you really want a revolution, you have to start from what we need to get one. You need a crisis in the ruling class and government, in which the powers-that-be are fighting among themselves and the advocates of reforms find themselves scrambling and on the defensive; you need masses of people, in their millions, finding the old way of living intolerable and willing to put everything on the line to end it; and you need a powerful revolutionary organization, with wide influence and deep roots and an experienced and scientifically-oriented core, able to give leadership to all this.

We don’t have all that today. But we do have a huge social eruption around a contradiction that is at the very heart of this society: the oppression of Black people, and for which the ruling class has no fundamental answer. We do have a situation which has “[compelled] many people to question and to resist what they usually accept,” (from A Statement from the Revolutionary Communist Party: ON THE STRATEGY FOR REVOLUTION) and in which people are much more open to hearing and thinking about and taking up the revolutionary line, the revolutionary analysis of the problem and the solution, and what to do about all that right now. We do have a vanguard which does have a fundamental answer—a solution—to this and all the other horrors and outrages of imperialism, a way to not only resist them but to actually MAKE a revolution, and the orientation to make the most of situations like this FOR revolution. And we do have a situation in which “nobody can say exactly what the conscious initiative of the revolutionaries might be capable of producing, in reacting upon the objective situation at any given time—in part because nobody can predict all the other things that all the different forces in the world will be doing.” (From Making Revolution and Emancipating Humanity, by Bob Avakian. This work is available as part of the Revolution pamphlet Revolution and Communism: A Foundation and Strategic Orientation. The citation is from p. 40.)

What we CAN say is that revolutionaries must work to push, and keep pushing, this situation as far as it can actually go, working along the lines laid out in the oft-reprinted “Some Principles for Building a Movement for Revolution,” by Bob Avakian (BAsics 3:30). This sheds important light on how revolutionaries should approach the actions being called for on New Year’s Eve. These actions should be as large and powerful as possible, rallying people who have been in the streets during this whole past period and rallying many more beyond them—people who have been inspired by all that, people who feel that they too “can’t breathe,” people who want to step out and step forward. Indeed, these demonstrations should, as Carl Dix put forth in his original call, be a time when people who are fighting on many different fronts to STOP the various outrages of this system all pour into the streets as well, around the slogan “No New Year With This Old System!” Revolutionaries should lead in reaching out very, very broadly to bring people to this.

At the same time, these demonstrations on New Year’s Eve should be a time when the fact that there IS a way out of this madness—that there is not only an understanding why the old system keeps doing what it does but a) what could be put in its place which could enable humanity to begin to overcome and transcend these horrors, and b) how this current system could be defeated for real in an actual revolution—is very much infused into all this. It should be a time when the leadership for this revolution—the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA and its leader, Bob Avakian—get much more widely known, in various ways, including through the propagation of the recent dialogue between Bob Avakian and Cornel West (REVOLUTION AND RELIGION: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion—A Dialogue Between Cornel West and Bob Avakian), as well as through broad distribution of Revolution and promotion of the website www.revcom.us. It should be a time when the organized forces of the revolution dramatically and coherently project themselves and draw others, on the spot, towards and closer to these organizations.

In short, revolutionaries must view this from the vantage point of “Some Principles,” and on that basis “carry out work which, together with the development of the objective situation, can transform the political terrain so that the legitimacy of the established order, and the right and ability of the ruling class to rule, is called into question, in an acute and active sense, throughout society; so that resistance to this system becomes increasingly broad, deep and determined; so that the ‘pole’ and the organized vanguard force of revolutionary communism is greatly strengthened; and so that, at the decisive time, this advanced force is able to lead the struggle of millions, and tens of millions, to make revolution.”

It is from that framework that plans should be made and goals set, and progress toward those concrete plans and goals consistently evaluated.

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/366/awtwns-afghanistan-13-years-of-occupation-and-no-end-in-sight-en.html

Revolution #366 December 22, 2014

From A World to Win News Service:

Afghanistan: 13 years of occupation and no end in sight

December 22, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

15 December 2014. A World to Win News Service. U.S. President Barack Obama once promised that he would end his country’s combat role in Afghanistan at the end of December. Then he took it back.

Speaking at the White House last May, he said that while he would keep about 10,000 troops in Afghanistan through 2015, they would just be “advisers” and “will no longer patrol Afghan cities or towns, mountains or valleys. That is a task for the Afghan people”.

But in November, he signed an authorization for American troops to continue combat missions—now to once again include night raids, a form of terrorism against the civilian population that the U.S. had been forced to suspend—and also for U.S. jets, bombers and drones to continue killing Afghans, again a form of military aggression that has repeatedly meant wiping out wedding parties and other civilian gatherings. Several other Nato countries, including Turkey, have announced that they will actually send new troops to Afghanistan.

After thirteen years of U.S. and Nato occupation, there is no end in sight.

This is taking place in a context in which the U.S. and UK are also sending fresh troops to another country whose occupation they had supposedly abandoned, Iraq. The way Obama changed the role of his troops in Afghanistan from “advisers” to combat troops at the mere wave of a presidential piece of paper should not only help unmask this phony distinction but also help clarify Obama’s intentions, which are to pursue the interests of empire by whatever means necessary. If the U.S. can’t get local reactionary armies to serve its interests, American troops have to be sent.

Many people fooled themselves into thinking that Obama intended to end the U.S. war in Afghanistan, and were surprised by this apparent turnaround. But the change was not one of principle, only of assessment: until recently the “residual” American forces he had always said he would leave there were expected to be able to keep the Taliban from winning outright victory and perhaps force them to accept some sort of power-sharing arrangement that would also be acceptable to the U.S.

While we don’t know all the factors in the U.S.’s policy shift, it could be seen coming. On 6 December, during the U.S. Secretary of Defense’s trip to Afghanistan, it was revealed that a decision had been made to increase the number of American troops there in 2015 by a thousand more than previously planned, to a total of 10,800 troops. Nato countries announced that they would have 4,000 troops in Afghanistan in 2015, another thousand more than previously announced. Obviously the current promises that there will only be two more years of occupation (until 12 January 2017, a week before Obama is scheduled to leave office) have to be seen in light of his previous indications that he would end it now.

Some commentators are attributing the shift to the new Afghan president Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, who has called for “restarting a warm relations” with the U.S. and made a request for the continuation of U.S. and Nato combat missions in Afghanistan. After a contentious presidential election that finally was resolved by a compromise, Ghani signed a so-called “Long-term security agreement” with the U.S. and several of its allies, and this was ratified by the Afghan parliament. Although previous president Hamid Karzai—literally chosen and put in office by Nato as the Afghan face of the invasion—had refused to sign this agreement, not many people believed he was seriously resisting. Given that he was in the final months of his presidency, he was attempting to buy some popularity and legitimatize the office of the presidency. But he—and the U.S.—knew the agreement would finally be signed by his successor.

Some people have been trying to attribute the Obama administration’s shift to pressure by military officials against the White House. According to the New York Times (21 November), the armed forces won the argument, and, officials put it, “The military pretty much got what it wanted”. But there has been no public opposition to the decision from either the Democratic or Republican Party. The U.S. Senate has just approved funding for the continued occupation with no dissent. It is one of the issues on which the U.S. ruling class seems to have reached a consensus, at least for now.

In fact, the U.S. ruling class is grappling with contradictory factors. There are real limits to the resources that can be assigned to their occupation in Afghanistan. It has gone very badly for them both when Obama “surged” the number of troops and now that their number has decreased. At the same time, the U.S. is still far from achieving even its modified objectives of keeping some sort of control over the country. In some respects, the “surge” made their situation worse, “a total failure” as some of their ex-generals put it.

One of the same factors that limits their ability to maintain surge-level forces in Afghanistan—their recognition of the need to send more troops to Iraq in the wake of the collapse of the Iraqi army in the face of the Daesh [ISIS] offensive last June—also bodes ill for U.S. imperialist prospects in Afghanistan. In both countries the army that the U.S. trained to serve its interests and the religiously-based, U.S.-dependent (and consequently hated and corrupt) political system it installed are tottering. No amount of further “training” by U.S. “advisers” can solve this problem, and shifting occupation forces from one theatre of war to the other has not solved it either. This dilemma has found expression in the contention within the U.S. ruling class, and because the problem has not been resolved, there may be more contention at the top in the U.S. about how to pursue its interests in this situation.

The U.S.-led occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq, and the U.S.-led war whose centre has shifted from Afghanistan to Iraq, then back to Afghanistan, then to Libya and then Syria, and now again in Iraq and continuing in Afghanistan, has been the most important factor in fuelling the rise of the reactionary Islamic fundamentalist challenge to what Obama’s predecessor’s advisers called “a new world order”. It has been mainly the U.S. and its “war on terrorism” that has strengthened the Islamist forces and is bringing them more together.

The U.S. and its allies are trying to pretend that they are de-escalating the war in Afghanistan because they are winning there. This is far from the truth, either in Afghanistan or throughout the region. What they want is the ability and flexibility to shift more easily from one war theatre to another and resolve the challenge by force of arms. When Obama said in his speech in May, that “Americans have learned that it’s harder to end wars than it is to begin them”, he was implicitly saying that neither he nor any other representative of the U.S. ruling class intends to end these wars unless and until they win something of what they want and need. This is not a choice but a necessity for the imperialists to ensure their global interests. Otherwise, why don’t they just end their invasions and occupations? Lately they haven’t even pretended to have that in mind. Instead, sometimes they seem to be preparing public opinion in the U.S. for what the previous U.S. administration called “endless war”.

What have the U.S. and its allies brought to the people of Afghanistan after 13 years of war? Nothing but brutal occupation with its night raids, street searches, bombardments and insults to national and personal dignity, poverty and a collapsed, drug-based economy, and the oppression of women that is actually a common point uniting the pro and anti-U.S. warlords. Nothing but a U.S.-compliant, religious fundamentalist and utterly corrupt regime in Kabul and the revival of the once somewhat discredited Taliban disputing the Kabul regime to impose their own reactionary rule. More occupation can only make things worse for the people, and that’s why it should be opposed.

 

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.

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/366/global-mega-thugs-rail-at-supposed-north-korean-hackers-en.html

Revolution #366 December 22, 2014

Furor Over Canceling The Interview

Global Mega Thugs Rail at Supposed North Korean Hackers

December 22, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From a reader:

Have you heard about the biggest human rights outrage on the planet right now?

Am I referring to the gruesome facts—censored and whitewashed as they were—revealed in the Senate torture report on the massive, sadistic torture inflicted on people seized around the world after 9/11? No, not that. The 2+ million people in the U.S. locked down in prisons—the highest rate of incarceration in the world? No. The fact that over and over and over again Black people are shot and killed for no reason and the police who kill them walk free? No again. The global epidemic of rape and violence against women? That’s not it.

Ted Alexandro-All you Need to Know

The big “outrage” that is eliciting scathing denunciations from ruling class public opinion-making machinery and indignant demands for retaliation is that hackers—who the FBI claims are associated with North Korea—reportedly broke into computers at Sony Pictures and released data embarrassing to Sony. Personal information about people who work with Sony was also reportedly made public. In the wake of the incident, Sony cancelled the theatrical release of a movie called The Interview.

Barack Obama threatened to respond with some kind of action against North Korea “in a place and time and manner that we choose.” He added, ominously, “It is not something that I will announce here today at a press conference.” And Obama indignantly declared: “We cannot have a society in which some dictator someplace can start imposing censorship here in the United States.”

After which, Obama should have added: “Only WE—the rulers of the USA—can hack into everyone’s email, impose censorship in the United States and beyond, and torture or assassinate anyone who says or does anything we don’t like anywhere else in the world, when it suits OUR interests.”

At this point, there is no serious or scientific basis to say who was behind all this. North Korea denied involvement and offered to conduct a joint investigation with the U.S. into who was responsible. The North Korean government statement said, “We have a way to prove that we have nothing to do with the case without resorting to torture, as what the CIA does.”

* * *

The Interview, according to press reports, is a “comedy” about the CIA enlisting a couple gossip reporters to help blow up the head of North Korea. There is nothing positive about the small-time exploiters who rule North Korea, but anyone who knows anything about the real history of the USA will have a sense as to why a movie about the CIA assassinating the ruler of another country might be taken as a serious threat.

The U.S. has an unparalleled record of attempting to assassinate, assassinating, or arranging for the assassination of political figures that get in the way of its global networks of exploitation and oppression. Look up CIA attempts to kill Fidel Castro in Cuba. Look up the U.S. role in the assassination of Patrice Lumumba in Congo. Or the role of the CIA in the coup that overthrew and killed Salvador Allende in Chile.

Funny?

Had the people who made The Interview aimed the plot and message in another direction—like at the United States—they might have ended up with a lot more problems than their movie going straight to video-on-demand. In 2011, Barack Obama ordered U.S. citizen Anwar al-Awlaki assassinated without trial or any due process for producing what was repeatedly characterized in the U.S. accounts of his assassination as “anti-American propaganda.” Not only was Anwar al-Awlaki assassinated (not just censored, or banned, but assassinated) for this, two weeks later, U.S. drones assassinated his 16-year-old American son Abdulrahman, who had no connection at all to his father’s propaganda activities.

If you’re living in the USA, you’re living in the country that became the world’s sole superpower in part by incinerating 200,000 Japanese civilians at the end of World War 2 and after that, bombed every building of two stories or more in the north of Korea in the Korean War and where a U.S. general called for bombing North Vietnam “into the Stone Age.” You’re living in a country that has installed regimes that have slaughtered millions of people, from Chile to Iran to Vietnam to Indonesia. These regimes imposed draconian censorship of dissident cultural expression, including the murder of Chilean musician Victor Jara by the CIA-installed regime after the 1974 coup in that country. Don’t believe me? Look any of this up and you’ll find this is only the lightest scratch on the surface of what the U.S. has done to people around the world. I’m sure revcom.us would be interested in hearing what you find. (Editors’ note: send to revolution.reports@yahoo.com.)

Whatever the real story behind the hacking of Sony, U.S. accusations of North Korean bullying are absurd and obscene hypocrisy. They come from, and serve, enforcing a world of slums, sweatshops, and environmental devastation enforced with violence. And nothing justifies enlisting as a cheerleading chump for these chauvinist threats by the U.S., under any pretext.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/366/defend-abortion-rights-en.html

Revolution #366 December 22, 2014

Defend Abortion Rights!
Confront the Anti-abortion Woman-haters January 22 & 24

by Sunsara Taylor | December 22, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

There’s a torrent of woman-hating in this society that rages from the frat houses to the barracks, from the board rooms to the state houses, from the detention centers to the prisons, and beyond... it manifests in gang rapes and a violent porn-saturated culture... it claims the lives of nearly four women each day by abusive “partners”... it shames women and girls about their bodies and sexuality... it bullies people who won’t cram into constrictive boxes of “male” and “female” or whose love defies oppressive heterosexist norms... it imprisons women who defend themselves, shackles them during child birth, and allows guards to rape them behind bars.

An extreme, aggressive, and cutting edge of this torrent is the fascist assault on abortion—and even birth control. Having a child can be a wonderful thing. But forcing women to have children against their will is a form of enslavement. Forced motherhood drives women into poverty, traps them in abusive relationships, foreclose their dreams and their potential contributions to society. Worse, this woman-hating is backed by the state. Hundreds of laws are being hammered into place, closing abortion clinics, driving women to dangerous extremes, and creating legal precedents that are extremely difficult to reverse.

On January 22 in Washington, DC and on January 24 in San Francisco, hundreds of thousands will take part in Christian fascist marches against abortion and birth control. They will spew their shame and vicious lies about “women’s place.” They will strut and bray about their victories in slashing and hacking away at women’s lives in 2014. They will pump up their foot-soldiers to even more violently bludgeon women’s rights in 2015.

We say NO MORE! No more rape jokes, porn culture, gang rape, virginity cults, fascist laws, clinic closures, shattered lives, shackled births, battered friends, forced motherhood, stalking, street-harassment, shaming, objectifying, silencing, victim-blaming, groping, or any of the countless ways women are daily demeaned and degraded!

We will NOT be silent in the face of hatred. We will NOT stay home as anti-abortion, woman-hating fascists parade through the streets. We will stand up for abortion rights and defeat the war on women.

This year, WE FIGHT BACK!

CONFRONT THE ANTI-ABORTION WOMAN-HATERS ON JANUARY 22 & 24!

ABORTION ON DEMAND AND WITHOUT APOLOGY!

WOMEN ARE NOT BITCHES, ’HOS, PUNCHING BAGS, BREEDERS, OR SEX OBJECTS—WOMEN ARE FULL HUMAN BEINGS!

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/366/hands-off-noche-diaz-en.html

Revolution #366 December 22, 2014

Hands off Noche Diaz!!

December 22, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Noche Diaz in Ferguson

Noche Diaz. Photo: Special to revcom.us/Revolution

In the protests after the murder of Mike Brown and the grand jury decisions not to indict the cops who murdered Brown and Eric Garner, Noche Diaz has been singled out by the NYC police for threats, brutality, and arrests. The police have pulled Noche out of protests of thousands and singled him out for political persecution—piling up charges against him: inciting to riot, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, and unlawful assembly. Noche is a member of the Revolution Club NYC and a young front-line fighter and leader in the struggle against police brutality and mass incarceration. He is known and hated by the police for his role.

In an interview with revcom.us/Revolution, Noche described what happened when he was arrested at a protest on November 25:

“They were saying things like, ‘I know you, you already have a case, you better go home, cuz when we get you, you ain't going nowhere for a long time, we're gonna put you away.’... They were trying to isolate people who were trying to lead things, especially people in the Revolution Club, including myself. But they weren't able to do that and they kept striking me on the back of the head.... The police had me pushed against a car, and finally were able to pull me out of the crowd. They had made a decision to really go get me. Despite efforts from the crowd to protect me, they got me. They slammed me to the ground. Then they pulled me up to my feet and took me behind the police line. One said, ‘Let's take him down behind the truck where no one can see.’ So I stopped walking and faced the crowd.” (Read the whole interview online at www.revcom.us.)

In going after leaders of the movement, the police are targeting different political forces and perspectives, and these have to be defended. Within that, they have gone after the
Revolution Clubs in Chicago and New York City with a lot of venom and violence. It is imperative that the police and government officials know that the people have Noche's back and will not tolerate any further injustice or brutality against him.

The Revolution Club has been calling on people to support Noche at his court dates. His next one is on January 29 at 100 Centre Street, NYC.

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/366/1500-protest-at-mall-of-america-en.html

Revolution #366 December 22, 2014

1,500 protest at Mall of America: "While you're on your shopping spree, Black people cannot breathe"

December 22, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

December 20, 2014. Demonstrators protesting the rampant police murder of Black people in the USA filled the rotunda of the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn. The action was organized by Black Lives Matter Minneapolis. News reports said as many as 1,500 participated in the protest.

This protest came at the height of the Christmas shopping season at the second largest shopping mall in America. The protest forced certain parts of the mall to be closed.

The cops gave a final warning to disperse after 30 minutes then police in in riot gear began clearing the rotunda. At this point protesters staged a die-in. People also rallied outside the mall. Some 25 people were arrested.

The huge rotunda of the mall echoed with the protesters’ chants, including: “Black Lives Matter,” “No Justice, No Shopping,” “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot,” and “While you’re on your shopping spree, Black people cannot breathe” —referring to the murder of Eric Garner in Staten Island, NY who was choked to death by an NYPD cop.

People also chanted, "That's why we're angry, that's why we're here. Santa won't see Tamir this year!" — referring to 12-year-old Tamir Rice who was recently shot dead by a Cleveland cop because he was playing with a toy gun.

One of the organizers with Black Lives Matter, Michael McDowell, said, "We will continue the protests. We plan on turning this moment into a movement, and we will not be stopped."

 


 

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Revolution #366 December 22, 2014

Milwaukee: Shutting Down I-43 to Demand Justice for Dontre Hamilton

December 22, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Milwaukee Highway I-43, December 19

Milwaukee, Highway I-43, December 19

Photos: Twitter

December 19, 2014Demonstrators shut down the I-43 highway in Milwaukee in both directions during rush hour traffic protesting the police murder of Dontre Hamilton.

On April 30 this year, Milwaukee cop Christopher Manney shot Dontre Hamilton 14 times and killed him. The police reportedly had received a complaint from workers at a Starbucks about a man sleeping in the Red Arrow Park. Hamilton, 31 years old, suffered from mental illness. Two other cops had already talked to Hamilton and not arrested him. But Manney profiled Hamilton to be “dangerous” based on observations of mental illness and patted him down. Manney claims Hamilton resisted before he shot Hamilton repeatedly.

Demonstrators gathered at the park where Dontre Hamilton was killed before splitting into several groups and heading to the highway. The disruption of the highway lasted about 75 minutes, with one group standing in the southbound lanes and another in the northbound lanes. After 74 people were arrested at the highway shutdown, 100 people picketed outside the Milwaukee Police administration building demanding that those arrested on the freeway be released. Among those protesting were Dontre Hamilton's brother Nathaniel Hamilton and his mother, Maria Hamilton.

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/366/shutting-down-walmart-justice-for-john-crawford-en.html

Revolution #366 December 22, 2014

Shutting Down Walmart! Justice for John Crawford

December 22, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

December 20, 2014—Protesters held a mass civil disobedience at the Walmart in Beavercreek, Ohio, a suburb of Dayton, shutting down the store for over two hours to demand justice for a young Black man gunned down by the police at this very store.

On August 5, 22-year-old John Crawford was shot and killed at this Walmart by a Beavercreek cop responding to a report that someone was walking around the store carrying a gun. Crawford had picked up a BB gun from one of the store shelves. In September, a special grand jury failed to indict the cop, Sean Williams, on any criminal charges. And last week Crawford’s family filed a suit against the city of Beavercreek, the individual officers involved, and the Walmart corporation asking for damages in his death.

The protest at Walmat demanding justice for John Crawford took place in conjunction with other protests on the same day in Cleveland over the police killing of Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old Black youth, in November.

About 100 protesters held a die-in at or near the aisle where John Crawford was killed. Rev. Jerome McCorry of Dayton, one of the organizers of the action, placed a bouquet of flowers on the spot were Crawford died.

Police—who had been called in from a few different local departments—ordered protesters to disperse and then evacuated the whole store. When the protest continued outside, the police targeted a Black protester, Elias Kelly, who was speaking on the megaphone and arrested him. Kelly yelled out “indict the system” as he was taken into a police car.

An angry elderly woman asked the police, “Why did you single him out?” For this, the Beavercreek police rammed into her with an SUV cruiser and then arrested her. Police arrested three more people.

Reverend McCorry, who was one of the signatories to the October 2014 Month of Resistance to Mass Incarceration, Police Terror, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation, told reporters:

"We are here to make a very serious statement. We stand together Black and white, we stand together male and female. We stand together as a cross section of this community who just simply want to send a message that black lives do matter. Justice was not done in the case of John Crawford III...These kinds of actions will happen continuously until justice is done...We knew that victory was already ours today when Walmart had to shut the store down. We're going to see this on a continuous basis, we're going to do it until justice begins to show itself in this community and we're concerned that justice has not been done."

One woman who was shopping told a reporter: "Well, I was just shopping, you know, minding my own business and I just seen a group of people come in and they were unified and they were peaceful. I think it was wonderful that everybody is standing together, standing up for something that matters, a cause, or life. Lives that are being discredited for much of nothing... I think that it's a wonderful thing because someone lied and someone died and it's good that people are coming together for that. There needs to be justice."

One protester said, "We're here to make a statement, to question and combat a system that is in fact not broken, but operating exactly as designed. In regards to injustice toward Black people and other people of color in this country: it's exhausting us, it's killing us, and we're sick of it."

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/366/noel-night-protest-in-detroit-en.html

Revolution #366 December 22, 2014

Noel Night Protest in Detroit

December 22, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From a reader:

Noel Night is an annual event in Detroit. Tens of thousands of people flood the Midtown to take advantage of this "family friendly" event that features free museums, music, dance, and poetry throughout the area. But this year, much to the joy of many and the chagrin of a few, the festive atmosphere was punctured by chants of "Black Lives Matter" as a defiant demonstration took to the streets. 

It began with 50 spirited people, but as it continued in the streets for two hours, at times it grew to over 400 people, as those who’d come for the festival but found something more, joined in. Those who didn’t or couldn’t join the march cheered and chanted with us as the demonstration marched through the streets of the festival area. People chanted "They shoot us down. We shut them down" as we snarled traffic and wove in and out of cars that were at a standstill. And through all of this the demonstration was led by a banner that said “Ferguson is Everywhere, Police Brutality and Murder Must Stop. Revcom.us”

A rally and speak-out was held in front of the Detroit Institute of Arts, the epicenter of Noel Night, as a very multi-national crowd of Black, white, and Arab people of all ages stood together against the wanton destruction of Black lives by the police. The protest ended with a five-minute die-in of about 200 people.

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/366/scientists-at-the-university-of-washington-say-police-murder-of-black-people-must-stop-en.html

Revolution #366 December 22, 2014

Scientists at the University of Washington Say: Police Murder of Black People Must Stop

December 23, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From a reader:

On Thursday, December 18, scientists at the University of Washington in Seattle acted to oppose the murder of Black people by police. The call for this action said:

"As some of you may have heard, medical students around the country have joined in protests to demand justice for Michael Brown, Eric Garner and others killed by police. They have gathered with white coats, taking pictures of this to show their support, doing die-ins, etc.

UW scientists say "Hands Up, Don't Shoot"

Photo: Special to revcom.us/Revolution

"Inspired by this, some of us got together and called for scientists we work with at University of Washington to wear white coats, bring signs with sentiments, etc., and raise our hands to say 'Hands Up, Don’t Shoot,' in what has become a universal gesture that Black Lives Matter and All Lives Matter, and that this police brutality and murder must stop. We will take a picture of this to tweet and spread on social media to let it be broadly known that people who work in the sciences are also taking a stand on this issue. People participating wanted to do a larger event in January when people are back from holidays and word can be gotten out more broadly."

(FYI, the number "43" being held up by one of the people in the photo refers to students at the Ayotzinapa teachers college in Guerrero, Mexico, who were disappeared in an assault by police and narcotics gangs.)

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/366/december-20-the-defiant-ones-from-ferguson-join-cleveland-protest-en.html

Revolution #366 December 22, 2014

December 20: The Defiant Ones from Ferguson Join Cleveland Protest

December 23, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From a reader:

40 people from Ferguson—and others from Washington, D.C., Akron, Mississippi, and nearby colleges—joined over 150 protestors here to stand with Tamir Rice’s family and demand an end to police killings. Tamir, a 12-year-old Black youth playing with a toy gun, was gunned down by a Cleveland cop in November.

The Ferguson youth brought a huge, colorful banner saying “Ferguson is Everywhere” with pictures of victims from all over the country—and that message marked the day with 10 hours of disruption of business-as-usual. From beginning to end, there was an intense push-out of the message that we will protest until the genocide of Black and brown people is stopped, and we all felt the high energy and militancy impacting the day that the defiant ones from Ferguson brought to the scene. And the authorities, their enforcers and the racists felt the no-backing-down spirit of the people. No doubt about it.  

The protest went for 10 hours, starting with a rally at the park where Tamir was gunned down for having a toy gun, to the First District police station (the station where the cop who killed Tamir was from), where people locked arms and blocked the street for almost an hour chanting “Tamir didn’t have to die/We know the reason why/The whole damn system is guilty” and “ftp, Fuck the police.” A large banner saying “No More Police Murders/We Need Revolution!/revcom.us” was out there. Two men drove their trucks against the crowd, yelling backward shit. As one truck backed up, the man pulled a gun out.  

We marched into the police station, called out the cold-blooded murder of Tamir and did a die-in there. Then we marched blocks to a busy intersection, and blocked it. It was intense as two vans pushed against us and one of them hit a young woman from Ferguson who had to go to the hospital. What did the police do? They just watched it all go down, and even when the woman was hit, the cops did not apprehend the man for running into her.  

We ran through a Walmart store, because it was at a Walmart near Dayton where John Crawford III was killed by police for carrying a BB gun that he had picked up from a store shelf. There were about 50 of us going through the aisles chanting and holding signs. There were some employees that gave the thumbs up, and many people shopping supported the protest. One white woman and her children smiled with support. At one point store security lined up employees, so we could no longer go through the aisles. At that point one protester went down the line calling on the employees to join us and said to the Black employees, “This could be your son.” There was a real challenge inside and outside Walmart to join this movement for justice and to stop police murder. A couple of employees left their job and joined us. With chants and signs and our determination, we broke some people out of just thinking about Christmas shopping to thinking about our call to action to stop police murder. 

As we were chanting “Black Lives Matter” a customer in line yelled out “All Lives Matter.” Someone from Ferguson responded: “All lives matter, OK—but that’s a person that don’t get out here and march with us, that’s a person that don’t stand for what we stand for. But yet and still he’s in a line, and we’re yelling a chant, and he’s buying something—so when you tell me all lives matter—that’s where your gonna put your item on your counter, and begin to look at that item and leave it where it stands and walk out that building.  ‘Cause I want you to all understand, WE matter, regardless of anybody that look at you the wrong way... if you look around you we got different color of people that are out here, I believe that we are all human, we are all people, we all stand for something!”

Then at Public Square (center of downtown) a few people spoke. A Revolution seller brought out how the system is illegitimate—from mass incarceration to the destruction of the environment—and revolution is the only answer. A woman whose son was killed by the police spoke about how she was inspired by the determination of the march, and that it was one of the best days she has seen.

We went to Tower City to disrupt shopping at its high-end mall, but the police locked down the building, refusing to let anyone in or out until the protest left. They even kept a protester in the building for almost an hour. Then we marched through downtown disrupting traffic and blocking traffic in the theater district, including a die-in, and people took notice. After a break for food, we marched through a housing project where some people answered the call, “Get out of your houses and into the streets!” by doing just that.  Several joined the march and some got Revolution newspapers. One person said how isolated and surrounded the people feel in the projects and that they want to be part of a movement to stop the daily abuse by the housing police and the city police.  

Throughout the day, the police were there to hem us in and block us from going onto the highway (as we had done a few weeks ago), lock us out of Tower City. Early in the day the police chief told Tamir’s 16-year-old brother, Tavon, that the police were there to keep everyone "safe." It was outrageous that the chief pig, Calvin Williams, would tell him this when his brother was gunned down in a park where youth play. The park was in fact no longer safe when the cops drove up and shot Tamir within 2 seconds at close range. Protecting who? Not Black and brown youth.

With all their bullshit about “protecting” the people, we know from facts that as Bob Avakian said (BAsics 1:24) “The role of the police is not to serve and protect the people. It is to serve and protect the system that rules over the people. To enforce the relations of exploitation and oppression, the conditions of poverty, misery and degradation into which the system has cast people and is determined to keep people in. The law and order the police are about, with all of their brutality and murder, is the law and order that enforces all this oppression and madness.”

Throughout the day, the defiant ones from Ferguson fired up the crowd—that we have right on our side and we are going to set the terms, the terms being that we are going to stop the genocide of Black and Latino people, not just make our voices heard. They helped put revolution into the mix. Chants like “You Can’t Stop the Revolution” and “What’s the Solution? Revolution!!” rang out loud and clear at times throughout the day. Lots of posters from revcom.us, like “Get Organized for an Actual Revolution,” were carried. Scores of Revolution newspapers got out as well as invitations to the BA Everywhere Dinner Celebration on Sunday.

As one person who marched all day told me, “I felt people’s determination, so angry and so much wanting to get justice. It felt like this is not the end but the beginning.”

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/366/houston-vigil-and-march-express-grief-and-rage-at-the-police-murder-of-jordan-baker-en.html

Revolution #366 December 22, 2014

Houston: Vigil and March Express Grief and Rage at the Police Murder of Jordan Baker

December 23, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From readers:

Eleven months ago, on January 16, Jordan Baker, an unarmed 26-year-old Black man, was gunned down by Houston Police Department officer Juventino Castro in the Acres Homes area because he “fit the description.” The official police narrative reads like a script: “The suspect was running, then turned around, crouched down, and reached into his waistband. I feared for my life.”

Houston, December 20. Photo: Special to revcom.us

On Sunday, December 21, a couple of nights before a Harris County grand jury was to announce whether or not the killer would be indicted, about 45 people gathered for a candlelight vigil in the parking lot where the murder took place. As a police helicopter hovered overhead, and patrol cars circled the area, friends, family and those who knew Jordan came together with many who didn't, to pay their respects, and to show determination to get justice for Jordan Baker. Some Latino youth who worked in fast food joints nearby came and linked arms with the mostly Black gathering. People cried and prayed and chanted “Black Lives Matter! Jordan's Life Matters!”

A team of revolutionaries joined the vigil and distributed copies of Revolution and cards about the November 15 Dialogue between Cornel West and Bob Avakian on religion and revolution. Most people we talked with said they were really fed up, and expressed that many others feel the same way. In various ways, people are connecting dots, and are looking to connect more. Many expressed, in so many words, that the oppression of Black people is deeply embedded in American society. Some said that we are still living in a kind of slavery. Points of view varied over why this is happening and where this is headed.

One young woman asked with a lot of seriousness, “Why are they doing this to us?! Black people are the nicest people!” She had summed up that the powers-that-be had defeated the upsurge of the 1960s by killing its leaders and wondered how we could prevent that this time—and she wanted to know more about this leader, BA, and the strategy for revolution. Another young woman saw society sliding toward “civil war,” which “would be bad,” and she felt that a big problem was that Black people didn't vote. We let people know that now there is the leadership that we need to actually win. There was a lot of interest in the Dialogue between BA and Cornel West. Many were challenged by the quote from BA, “What's Missing Is You.” And some took cards for the Dialogue to get out and organize others to watch the video, while they continue to struggle for justice for Jordan Baker.

***

On December 20, 45 people, surrounded by almost 100 Houston police, marched in the Galleria/uptown financial district of Houston demanding justice for Jordan Baker. A grand jury is presently in its final deliberations and is expected to make a decision soon. According to the Houston Chronicle, since 2008, Harris County grand juries have not indicted Houston cops in all 121 shootings.

Throughout the day on Saturday, the police continually issued threats and blocked off the march. Many of the people who came out have been emboldened by the national upsurge of protests around Michael Brown and Eric Garner, and were adamant that police killing the youth cannot keep going on. Amidst all of this, many people expressed their anger and frustrations at the police, and discussions on how can these police murders end went on among the crowd.

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/366/houston-outrage-another-murdering-pig-walks-free-en.html

Revolution #366 December 22, 2014

Houston: OUTRAGE! Another Murdering Pig Walks Free!

December 24, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

December 23, 2014

Last January a Houston Police Department pig murdered Jordan Baker in Acres Homes. Now, just two days before Christmas, a Harris County Grand Jury ruled that no crime would be charged against the murdering cop. This is bullshit, and it must not stand!

How many times are these cops going to get away with murdering people, especially with murdering young Black and Latino men?

Jordan Baker was unarmed. He was riding his bike through the neighborhood where he lived. And this murdering cop demanded to see Jordan's ID. The cops claim Jordan charged the killer cop, and that Jordan “matched the description” of people who supposedly had robbed local stores – because he was wearing a black hoodie.

How many times are these pigs going to run this kind of bullshit? Once again, an unarmed Black man is gunned down by a cop. Once again, the “prosecutor” presents a case aimed at letting the killer cop walk. Once again, a grand jury lets the cop go. According to the police's own records, 121 people were shot by HPD from 2008 to 2012. Not a single cop was charged with anything for these crimes.

Like Janet Baker, Jordan Baker's mother, said about the cop’s story: “I don’t believe that’s what occurred. I think that’s him trying to justify the outcome of what happened.”

A recent statement by Carl Dix of the Revolutionary Communist Party put things straight up: “Today in America, police murder people and get away with no punishment. This happens again and again and again. But something new has also begun to happen, and people have risen up against this, in the tens of thousands, across the country. The outpourings of resistance to this wanton police murder have been beautiful, powerful, and very necessary. Our movement of resistance must broaden, becoming even more diverse, and its determination to stop murder by police must be strengthened and deepened. It must continue and escalate until these horrors are really ended.

“When police murder people as they did with Eric Garner and Michael Brown, it is unlawful, illegitimate and should not be tolerated in any society that anyone would want to live in.”

The murder by police of Jordan Baker must not be tolerated. ALL MURDER BY POLICE MUST STOP, and there must be Justice for Jordan Baker! Now is the time to carry the struggle against police brutality and murder by police higher, and bring more people into this fight. Now is the time to get serious about stopping this shit, and to get organized into organizations determined to make that happen.

Get with the Stop Mass Incarceration Network, join in and help organize their activities to end murder and brutality by police, help get its message out through all of society. Check out revcom.us, and get with the people building a movement for actual revolution to get rid of the system that feasts upon unending suffering for humanity such as murder by police – a movement to emancipate all of humanity.

PROTEST – Friday, December 26th @ 1pm
Rally at HPD Headquarters, 1200 Travis, Houston, TX

PROTEST – Monday, December 29th @ 3:30pm
Harris County DA's Office, 1201 Franklin, Houston, TX
Meet at 1:30pm SHAPE Community Center/Harambee Bldg.,
3903 Almeda, to march to the protest.

#JordansLifeStillMatters      #FergusonTX

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/366/statement-by-the-coalition-for-justice-on-the-refusal-to-press-charges-against-the-cop-who-killed-dontre-hamilton-en.html

Revolution #366 December 22, 2014

Statement by The Coalition for Justice on the Refusal to Press Charges Against the Cop Who Killed Dontre Hamilton

December 24, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Editors’ Note: The following was sent to revcom.us in response to the decision on December 21 not to bring charges against the cop who killed Dontre Hamilton. On April 30 this year, Milwaukee cop Christopher Manney shot Dontre Hamilton 14 times and killed him after reportedly getting a complaint from workers at a Starbucks about a man sleeping in a park.

 

For Official Release by The Coalition For Justice:

To Milwaukee and Our Country,

The decision released today by Milwaukee’s District Attorney John Chisholm is in no uncertain terms an affirmation that the justice system of our city, state, and country has once again failed. There is no justification that can be provided that will allow us to believe that this officer operated within the law when the initial meeting between Dontre Hamilton and Christopher Manney originated by an unconstitutional pat down that violated Dontre’s basic/fundamental rights as a citizen of this country and as a human being.

Your justice system has once again proven that black people continue to be seen as nothing more than 3/5ths human, and property that can be destroyed and/or terminated at the whim of officers that were taught to view black skin as a threat long before they ever received their gun and badge. It is our belief that there can be numerous “outside investigative agencies” and “experts” who review cases such as this; however, as long as the criminal justice system is based on practices, principals, and polices, that subordinate and denigrate groups of people based on race, no true justice will ever prevail.

The fact remains that Dontre Hamilton was racially and criminally targeted because he was Black man, sleeping in a public park. We feel that when rudimentary rights such as resting become illegal for the people of this country, that we have truly lost our way, and veered off on a slippery slope that will justify more unmerited murders such as the one that took place in Red Arrow Park on April 30, 2014.

You have therefore left the members of this community no other alternatives than to stand up, protest, and take the justice that was rightfully ours at birth. There is no justice. So there can be no peace or compromise.

Signed With Disdain For Your Corrupt System,

The Coalition For Justice

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/366/check-it-out-enough-is-enough-by-edwidge-danticat-en.html

Revolution #366 December 22, 2014

Check it out: "Enough Is Enough" by Edwidge Danticat

December 24, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From a reader

I want to strongly encourage readers of revcom.us/Revolution to read, reflect on, and share a wrenching essay in the New Yorker, “Enough Is Enough,” by Edwidge Danticat (November 16, 2014).  Edwidge Danticat is a writer who moved to the U.S. from Haiti at the age of 12, and in the past two decades has become beloved worldwide for her novels about the Haitian people and works of nonfiction. Her work has received honors ranging from the American Book Award to Oprah's Book Club.

Written on the heels of the grand jury refusing to indict the cop who murdered Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO, “Enough Is Enough” draws on Edwidge Danticat’s life experience as a Haitian immigrant witnessing police brutality in Haiti and in the U.S.A., and her participation in the struggle against that. She takes readers back to the eruption of protest almost twenty years ago, in response to the sexual assault by the NYPD on Abner Louima  and the NYPD murder of Amadou Diallo—a Guinean immigrant who was shot at forty-one times when he reached for his wallet.

As I read the article, I wondered how anyone could not ask, now, what has changed!? And what will it take to not have this happen over and over?

Reflecting on the protest chant, “Whose streets, our streets,” Edwidge Danticat poses: “The streets were never ours to begin with, because on these same streets our sons and brothers, fathers and uncles were, and still are, prey.”

She concludes by quoting an opinion piece Abner Louima wrote in 2007: “Enough is enough.”

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/366/this-must-stop-now-en.html

Revolution #366 December 22, 2014

This Must Stop Now!

December 24, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

12/24: In the past two days, during a period when New York Mayor Bill de Blasio called on people to not protest police brutality and murder (a call echoed by every media outlet in the country): A prosecutor in Houston and a grand jury in Milwaukee refused to bring charges against police who murdered two Black men. And late last night in Berkeley, MO a police officer killed an 18-year-old Black man. Reports are that hundreds of people responded on the spot in outrage. Also, last night, hundreds of people defied the Mayor and protested police brutality in New York City, and Carl Dix and Travis Morales called for protests on New Year's Eve at a press conference that got wide coverage:

Rock in the New Year With Resistance to Police Murder!

NO NEW YEAR UNDER THIS OLD SYSTEM! WE CAN'T BREATHE!

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/366/antonio-martin-18-the-latest-black-man-killed-by-police-in-amerikkka-en.html

Revolution #366 December 22, 2014

Antonio Martin, 18—the Latest Black Man Killed by Police in ameriKKKa

December 24, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The role of the police is not to serve and protect the people. It is to serve and protect the system that rules over the people. To enforce the relations of exploitation and oppression, the conditions of poverty, misery and degradation into which the system has cast people and is determined to keep people in. The law and order the police are about, with all of their brutality and murder, is the law and the order that enforces all this oppression and madness.

BAsics 1:24

Download Tweetable jpg.

12/24/14. Late last night, a policeman shot and killed Antonio Martin, an 18-year-old Black man, in Berkeley, Missouri—a predominantly Black suburb of St. Louis just a few miles from Ferguson.

Details of what happened are unknown, and the police account should not be taken as fact What IS a fact is that yet another Black man was killed by police, that there is an epidemic of police murder and terror, and that it has to STOP.

Immediately after the killing, a crowd gathered and different forms of outrage erupted. The images in this slideshow reflect the horror, pain, and righteous anger in the moments after the killing, including a die-in on the spot. Other forms of protest went on into the night.

 

  • Berkeley, Missouri, evening of December 23, 2014. Photo Special to revcom.us
  • Berkeley, Missouri, evening of December 23, 2014. Photo Special to revcom.us
  • Berkeley, Missouri, evening of December 23, 2014. Photo Special to revcom.us
  • Berkeley, Missouri, evening of December 23, 2014. Photo Special to revcom.us
  • Berkeley, Missouri, evening of December 23, 2014. Photo Special to revcom.us
  • Berkeley, Missouri, evening of December 23, 2014. Photo Special to revcom.us
1 2 3 4 5 6

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/366/outrage-in-milwaukee-after-yet-another-killer-cop-walks-en.html

Revolution #366 December 22, 2014

Outrage in Milwaukee After Yet Another Killer Cop Walks

December 24, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From a reader:

Dontre Hamilton was executed by police for being mentally ill and sleeping in a park while Black. That was in late April of 2014. On Monday, December 22, the “independent investigation” of this blatant murder totally exonerated the pig. (see box for more background). The Coalition for Justice in Milwaukee, a group which, along with others, has demonstrated many times over this, immediately hit the street, and called for a protest and march the following day at 5 p.m.

The protest started at Red Arrow Park, right in downtown Milwaukee, and the very place where Dontre was shot down. In the face of declarations by the powers-that-be that the people should stand down, the marchers were defiant and unrepentant in their demand for justice. Before too long, it grew from a couple dozen to about 500 people. It was led by Nate Hamilton, the brother of Dontre, who had held a press conference on Monday and laid out in uncompromising terms that this struggle is not over, and called out the cruelty and hypocrisy of the justice system. "My family, we've cried too long. As a people, we're done crying when injustice comes. We're not going to cover up injustice with our tears. We're not going to be laid back and stay sheltered from justice, we deserve justice. (See video of press conference.)

Protest against the official decision not to charge the cop who killed Dontre Hamilton, Milwaukee, December 23

Protest against the official decision not to charge the cop who killed Dontre Hamilton, Milwaukee, December 23. Photo: Special to revcom.us

Nate Hamilton led chants and unified the crowd. About 50 posters saying “Ferguson is Everywhere! Stop Police Brutality and Murder. StopMassIncarceration.net” were hungrily taken up. Two hundred fliers calling for “Rock in the New Year with Resistance to Police Murder” were distributed.

From the park, the protestors surged into the street, a six-lane boulevard, and took over the whole thing. The crowd was mainly young and a mix of Black and white youth, including college students, with local Black youth from the neighborhood. As we marched the crowd chanted; “Cops in my hood, ain’t no good, cops in your hood, ain’t no good; who do you trust? Not the po-lice”; “Indict, convict, send the killer cops to jail. The whole damn system is guilty as hell!”; “I believe, we will win” (while jumping up and down); “Turn it up, don’t turn it down, we’re doing it for Dontre now!”; “No Justice, No Compromise.” All the cops could do was escort the march, which wound through downtown until reaching the arena where the NBA Milwaukee Bucks were about to play. The bulk of the crowd linked arms in front of the two main entrances to the arena. The arriving basketball fans had to circle the arena for a side entrance. For some reason, the police decided not to arrest people.

Back at the park, family members had a "speak bitterness" about the police. One local activist minister declared that "THIS is the new normal," referring to the people in the streets refusing to accept the murder of another Black youth. Throughout the park the chant arose, “Whose park?” And the response “Dontre’s park!” Ties were forged for the Stop Mass Incarceration Network, and many Revolution newspapers and Bob Avakian/Cornel West Dialogue pluggers were distributed.

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/366/stop-mass-incarceration-network-nyc-press-conference-en.html

Revolution #366 December 22, 2014

Stop Mass Incarceration Network NYC Press Conference: "No New Year Under This Old System. We Can't Breathe!"

December 24, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The Stop Mass Incarceration Network (SMIN) held a press conference on Tuesday, December 23 on the steps of City Hall of the City of New York to call for "Rocking in the New Year with Resistance to Police Murder," under the theme of “NO NEW YEAR UNDER THIS OLD SYSTEM. WE CAN'T BREATHE!”

SMIN announced activities to be held in New York City on New Year’s Eve—with a call to deliver the message with the following demands:

Justice for Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Akai Gurley and All Victims of Police Murder!

Police Murder Must Stop!

Speakers at the press conference included: Carl Dix, co-founder of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network with Cornel West, and representative of the Revolutionary Communist Party; Travis Morales, Steering Committee, NYC Stop Mass Incarceration Network; Richard Marini, World Can’t Wait; Sumumba Sobukwe, OWS/Occu-Evolve; B.M. Marcus, community organizer from Brooklyn and activist with SMIN.

Behind speakers at the press conference, people stood holding a long roll of yellow police tape that stretched for nearly 100 feet—with the names of Black and Latino men killed by the police in New York City and across the country.

Travis Morales addressed the call by NYC Mayor de Blasio and others for protests against murder by police to be put aside right now, saying: "Well, I will tell you this, the NYPD and police around this country have not put aside their murdering of our people.... There’s been no moratorium on the police murdering our people with impunity. We can’t back down.” He also spoke to how officials and the media have characterized chants calling cops racist and comparing the NYPD to the KKK as "hurtful, hateful and immoral," saying: “My question would be: What is it about those chants that’s not true?”

Morales called on people to join SMIN in bringing in the New Year with resistance: “We are calling on people to gather at 9 o’clock on New Year’s Eve at Union Square and then march at 10 o’clock to Times Square to take this message to the world, to the people of the world—rock in the New Year with resistance to police murder. And all the thousands and tens of thousands of people who have been in the streets, who have been protesting, who have been demanding justice for Michael Brown and Eric Garner, all those thousands and tens of thousands need to be in Times Square on New Years eve, raising their voices, raising their signs, raising their banners, demanding justice for Michael Brown, justice for Eric Garner, justice for all the victims of police murder—‘Indict, Convict and Send These Killer Cops to Jail'... As long as these murders continue we will continue to be out in the street demanding justice and demanding these murders stop.”

Carl Dix said, "They have no right to silence our voice. We must be heard....You got no right to tell us when, how and whether we can protest.”

Dix also talked about the need to continue resistance: “There has been a seemingly never-ending series of people being murdered by the police...it happens again and again and again. And these cops are not punished for these crimes. But then something beautiful, powerful and necessary happened, beginning in Ferguson and spreading around the country when people stood up to say NO MORE to this.

“Now we’re being told ease up, step back—'how about a moratorium?' NO! Our stance should be, as long as these murders by police happen, as long as the criminal justice system refuses to indict and convict these killer cops, then our resistance must go on, business as usual must not go on.”

See the whole press conference here.

For more on SMIN, go to www.stopmassincarceration.net

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/366/no-christmas-eve-as-usual-in-wake-of-police-killing-of-antonio-martin-en.html

Revolution #366 December 22, 2014

No Christmas Eve as Usual in Wake of Police Killing of Antonio Martin

December 25, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From a reader:

Photos from the vigils in Berkeley, Missouri, December 25, 2014, at the spot where Antonio Martin was gunned down 19 hours earlier by police. All photos: Special to revcom.us/Revolution

Vigil for Antonio Martin in Berkeley, MO December 25, 2014

Vigil for Antonio Martin in Berkeley, MO December 25, 2014

Vigil for Antonio Martin in Berkeley, MO December 25, 2014

Vigil for Antonio Martin in Berkeley, MO December 25, 2014

People gathered for a Christmas Eve vigil at the spot where Antonio Martin was gunned down 19 hours earlier by a cop in Berkeley, Missouri, next door to Ferguson where Michael Brown was murdered by cop Darren Wilson in August. 50 people joined members of Antonio’s family to construct a memorial to honor Antionio’s life on the side of the gas station where he was murdered.

The Mobil gas station was the scene of a powerful outpouring of rage the night before. Within a couple hours of Antonio’s murder, 300 people, including many defiant youth from the surrounding neighborhoods, had rushed to the scene and clashed with riot police.

After the vigil and memorial building had concluded, protesters hit the streets and marched to Highway 170, bringing holiday traffic to a halt on the southbound lanes. The march exited 170 and then shut down major streets in Berkeley. People condemned the continuing police murders in St. Louis and around the country, chanting “We can’t breathe!” and “Who shuts shit down? We shut shit down!” Protesters challenged backed-up motorists to forget about the holiday inconvenience and get out in the streets.

Demonstrators returned to the gas station, where confrontations broke out between protesters and the lines of riot police. Authorities mobilized County Police and Missouri Highway Patrol, as well as police from nearby towns. Several protesters were arrested and others were maced. Not only youth but older people from the neighborhood came out and were on the scene. One older man spoke with pride about how youth he knew stood up to righteously and militantly to the police the night before.

Later that evening, 75 people held a Christmas Eve vigil at a prominent cathedral in St. Louis. This began at 11 p.m., marking 24 hours from the time when Antonio was gunned down. Up the steps at the church doors stood a line of riot cops, and riot cops also lined the sidewalk where people passed by to come to the vigil. People sang and spoke out. One young man explained he came right from a Christmas Eve gathering at home, pointing out the pajamas he was wearing. He read a list of people murdered by police in the U.S. in 2014.