Revolution #371, January 26, 2015 (

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

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Revolution #371 January 26, 2015

This February: Be Part of Radically Changing the World

Updated February 1, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


This fall, people saw the possibility of a radically different world begin to come to life. Thousands of people took to the streets, putting themselves on the line, to demand that police murder stop. During this same period, more than 1,900 people heard a Dialogue between revolutionary communist leader Bob Avakian and the revolutionary Christian and truth-teller Cornel West on REVOLUTION & RELIGION: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion—a Dialogue at which BA powerfully put forward the need and possibility of revolution.

The emergence of an actual opening for revolution from the "mix" that began to develop should NOT be ruled out. Great potential was opened up by all this, and greater things could happen. At the same time, even as people continue to heroically battle, the powers are trying to suppress and close this out, through very sharp repression and through confusing right and wrong in people's minds. The movement for revolution, as well as the struggle against the "slow genocide" being enforced by the police, face a crossroads. What people do in February could be pivotal in preparing to rise to and meet the current challenges and working to hasten such an opening.

If you took part in the struggle against police murdering our people in the fall, or if you wanted to take part, or if you burn at the injustice and horror that keeps happening and happening and happening again... then come to a mass conference in Atlanta on February 7. Be part of organizing something that builds on last autumn’s defiance, actions that are even more massive, more powerful, and more effective. If you are part of an organization, bring your organization; if you are not, bring yourself and your friends; if you have to come alone, then do that. But come. The Stop Mass Incarceration Network is organizing for a massive outpouring on April 14 to really stop business as usual on that day. And for that to happen on the scale it needs to, the scale that can really change everything, you and people like you need to be part of that organizing. So definitely, definitely come to Atlanta! (For more on this, contact the Stop Mass Incarceration Network: Email:; Facebook: stopmassincarcerationnetwork; Twitter: @StopMassIncNet; Phone: 347-979-SMIN (7646); And as you build for this, be part of getting out and getting into the RCP’s statement on the situation: “The Cold but Liberating Truth About the Police, the Struggle for Justice, and Revolution.”

If you were at the Dialogue... if you watched it online, or were inspired by the trailer for the new film of the event coming this March... or if you just heard about it and want to know more... then get with the BA Everywhere campaign. BA Everywhere is making the vision and plan that Bob Avakian (BA) has developed for bringing about a radically better world through revolution known by raising funds and spreading his work. The campaign has a way for you to learn more and a place for you (go to the BA Everywhere page at

Step one: Be part of getting deeper into this Dialogue by watching the video of the simulcast and spreading it throughout society, and building for a major breakout of the new film of this Dialogue in March. This Dialogue not only gets into the deepest questions... it not only highlights a rare public appearance by BA, full of revolutionary fire and vision, going back and forth with Cornel West... it also gives you a living feel for the possibility of revolution and a whole different way that society could be, including through the interaction between the speakers and what they took up and how they took it up. Learn more about Bob Avakian and the emancipating vision he’s developed: the new synthesis of communism. Learn more about the strategy for revolution, right here in the U.S. as part of a global revolution, and how people could think, feel, and be in a whole different, liberated way. Come to dinners in major cities on February 15; and if you’re not in a major city, contact the BA Everywhere Committee to learn how to get into this. And get with the committees that are now starting to organize these dinners.

Both these efforts work together and complement each other. And both of them in turn work together with the struggles that people are waging against the patriarchal degradation, dehumanization, and subjugation of all women everywhere (as seen in the demonstrations around abortion rights in January), and all oppression based on gender or sexual orientation... against the capitalist-imperialist destruction of our planet... against the demonization, dehumanization, and deportation of immigrants... and against wars of empire, armies of occupation, and crimes against humanity. Something very fresh and important is building, and there is a synergy and contagion between these struggles that, if built and fostered, will strengthen them all.

The BA Everywhere campaign provides a framework and a context for all of them. People rising up to fight the power is crucially important; what the work and leadership of BA brings is an understanding of why these injustices and outrages and horrors are absolutely unnecessary and how it could be possible to do away with them. And if this vision is not brought forward, then people will inevitably settle for less and accept just a few small changes, if that, that leave this meatgrinder of a society intact.

If you are a revolutionary, or radical-minded, or active in the fight for justice, or used-to-be-active-and-looking-to-go-there-again... then know this: there are thousands right now who were awakened in the fall and who want to be inspired and contribute to making real change. But they must be reached, and they must be organized. If you are a revolutionary communist—a “revcom”—give people the whole picture of revolution as you bring them into this movement. Let them know about the importance of the Party, led by Bob Avakian, that has taken responsibility for leading this revolution. Let them know about this website,, and the importance of coming here to stay connected and oriented and able to understand and act, as world events twist and turn.

Be part of doing that. Be part of radically changing everything. Make February a pivotal month to involve thousands in the movement, going back on the offensive and preparing for big leaps forward in the spring. And right now, build these two efforts in a massive way.




Revolution #371 January 26, 2015

From A World to Win News Service

Israel, the U.S. and Islamic fundamentalism

January 26, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |



19 January 2015. A World to Win News Service. In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo killings in France, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a warning against “a wave of Islamization” sweeping Europe. But an Israeli airstrike in Syria only a few days later provided a new and even more dangerous example of how Israel, far from a secular state itself, has deliberately aided Islamic fundamentalists for its own cynical and criminal ends.

On 18 January, Israeli guided missiles targeted two vehicles travelling on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights. Among the half-dozen or more people killed in this assassination, according to early reports, were the head of Syrian operations of the Lebanese Shia organization Hezbollah, and the top Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander in Syria.

The Israeli airstrike seems to have been meant to strike a hard blow at the Lebanese and Iranian forces playing a key role in the Syrian regime’s battle against the Islamist fundamentalist Jabhat al-Nusra that has been advancing in southwest Syria. The Golan Heights overlook Syria’s capital, Damascus, and al-Nusra’s campaign to seize control there could be a factor in tipping the scales in the currently stalemated Syrian civil war. It would be hard to argue that the Israeli attack had any foreseeable result, and therefore aim, other than supporting one reactionary side in that civil war, Sunni Islamists, against the reactionary Bashar al-Assad regime.

This is at least the fifth time Israel has launched strikes against the Syrian government since 2013 (Washington Post, 18 January), effectively helping the Islamists who long ago gobbled up almost all other opposition to Assad. In one of these incidents, Israel shot down a Syrian MiG that had been supporting government forces on the battlefield. U.S. assent for these offensive actions became obvious when the Obama government decided to ignore a well-documented 7 December Israeli air attack on a Damascus International Airport facility, allegedly a military warehouse, which certainly would have been denounced as terrorism and an act of war if anyone had similarly attacked Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport.

Israel has provided direct support for al-Nusra on the ground. A June 2014 UN report drawn up by UN observers assigned to the Golan Heights describes, among other incidents, numerous Israeli attacks on Syrian government forces during periods of intense fighting between the Syrian army and “armed opposition forces” (in an area where al-Nusra has absorbed the other opposition groups and where the black Islamist flag flies over captured outposts from the Syrian army). UN observers reported seeing Israeli soldiers handing unidentified boxes to fighters on two occasions. On 59 occasions, they saw Israeli soldiers take a total of 89 wounded for medical treatment and then later return most of them to the front lines.

This Israeli policy was reported in the New York Times (19 January), which said, “Israel has mostly turned a blind eye toward the Qaeda-affiliated insurgents battling the Syrian government near the border.... Israeli hospitals have even treated United States-backed Syrian insurgents who have been allowed to cross the border, including from groups that have sometimes cooperated on the battlefield with those Qaeda-affiliated fighters.”

Only three days before the Israeli airstrike, Hassan Nasrallah, the head of the Shia Islamist Hezbollah, made two points in a television interview. One was a warning to Israel not to break the de facto ceasefire on the Lebanese and Syrian borders. Although Hezbollah has claimed legitimacy from Lebanese Shias and others as a representative of resistance to repeated Israeli aggression, including the 2006 Israeli invasion that killed more than a thousand Lebanese, mainly civilians, its main objective is its own religious rule and not freeing Palestine.

Nasrallah’s other point was to repeat earlier offers of a “political solution” to Syria’s civil war in which Assad would agree to step down. Israel’s political goal in supporting Islamist forces in Syria has been meant to prevent or delay an end to that civil war.

While Israel has its own interests, this aim is consistent with U.S. goals and actions in Syria until now. Although the U.S. may have had illusions about bringing a compliant regime to power a few years ago, it seems to have considered Syria’s destruction as the next best thing. Even the idea of an eventual “political settlement” being floated around now has been contingent on first weakening Assad, making sure that enough damage is done so that the U.S. can more fully dominate whatever future regime may emerge. The U.S. and Israel have actively worked to fuel the horrendous civil war with no regard for the hundreds of thousands of dead and the millions of refugees.

It is not true, as many people believe, that the rise of Islamic fundamentalism can be attributed chiefly to the conscious efforts and policies of the U.S. and Israel, its reliable Middle Eastern outpost. Although such a simplification has appeal for many Middle Eastern people and others cruelly confronted with both U.S. domination and Islamic fundamentalism, a little hard thinking makes it clear that the social and ideological factors driving the clash between Western (and chiefly U.S.) imperialism and Islamist reactionaries are beyond anyone’s control. But the U.S., acting on its own and often through the Israeli secret services, did a great deal to encourage the rise of Islamism when they thought it was in their interests, and they do not hesitate to do so now for the same reasons. (See The Devil’s Game, How the United States Unleashed Islamic Fundamentalism, by Robert Dreyfuss, Metropolitan Books, New York, 2005.)

In fact, the main way the U.S. aids Islamism is by its brutal attempts to control the Middle East, including American backing for Zionist rule over Palestine, and presenting that as the only alternative to Islamic fundamentalism, thus echoing and giving aid and comfort to Islamism’s claims that it is the only alternative to Western and Zionist domination.

This latest Israeli attack illustrates what we all need to know: that any strengthening of either of these inhuman monsters, the Islamic fundamentalist forces or the U.S.-led forces, reinforces both sides in a dynamic that is extremely harmful for the people of the region (above all) and the world. That is what Israel is doing, with U.S. backing, and that is what it should be condemned for.


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





Revolution #371 January 26, 2015

MLK Day: Thousands Coast to Coast Take to the Streets to Protest Police Murder

January 26, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


On the annual MLK Day marked across the country on January 19, a new spirit of resistance was evident as people took to the streets against police murder and brutality. The following are reports received from some of the protests.


St. Louis/Ferguson
San Francisco/Bay Area
New York
Los Angeles


  • Ferguson, Missouri, Martin Luther King Day 2015. Photo: Special to
  • Ferguson, Missouri, Martin Luther King Day 2015. Photo: Special to
  • Ferguson, Missouri, Martin Luther King Day 2015. Photo: Special to
  • Boston, Martin Luther King Day 2015. Photo: Special to
  • Boston, Martin Luther King Day 2015. Photo: Special to
  • Chicago, Martin Luther King Day 2015. Photo: Special to
  • Chicago, Martin Luther King Day 2015. Photo: Special to
  • Chicago, Martin Luther King Day 2015, National Lawyers Guild 'Indict the System' Protest. Photo: Special to
  • Cleveland, Martin Luther King Day 2015. Photo: Special to
  • Cleveland, Martin Luther King Day 2015. Photo: Special to
  • Cleveland, Martin Luther King Day 2015. Photo: Special to
  • Los Angeles,  Martin Luther King Day 2015 - Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity float '7 Jewels of Injustice.'  Photo: Special to
  • Los Angeles,  Martin Luther King Day 2015 - Family members of Mayra Cornejo, killed by LA Sheriffs, December 31, 2014.  Photo: Special to
  • Los Angeles,  Martin Luther King Day 2015 - Blowing whistles, Photo: Special to
  • Los Angeles,  Martin Luther King Day 2015 - Stop Mass Incarceration Network contingent. Photo: Special to
  • Los Angeles,  Martin Luther King Day 2015 - Aztec dancers.  Photo: Special to
  • New York City, Martin Luther King Day 2015.  Photo: special to
  • New York City, Martin Luther King Day 2015.  Photo: special to
  • New York City, Martin Luther King Day 2015.  Photo: special to
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19



On January 19, 800 to 1,000 marchers gathered at the old courthouse building in St. Louis for the annual Martin Luther King parade. There was broad “Black Lives Matter,” “anti-police brutality” and “justice for Mike Brown” sentiment among most in the crowd. Many were sporting MLK buttons and “Justice for Mike Brown” T-shirts. But this year’s official MLK event had a strikingly new element—hundreds of youthful protesters steeled and tempered by the last six months of struggle for justice following the police murder of Mike Brown and others, and the grand jury decision to let the killer cop, Darren Wilson, go free.

The official MLK parade, slated to head along Market St. to Harris-Stowe State University for an interfaith service, included numerous creative visuals. One was a banner held by older white religious people of a slave with chains around his neck (1814), a Black man hanging from tree with his hands tied (1914), and the chalk outline of Michael Brown’s dead body (2014). They felt it was very important to connect history with current reality of Black people’s oppression. There was another giant banner with an MLK quote on how the U.S. is the “greatest purveyor of violence in world.” A group of young LGBT people had a banner saying “punishment is not a solution,” speaking out against how students very early (elementary school) are being treated as criminals.

But there was contention among participants. Young veterans of the recent struggles against police terror felt the need to replace the “we’ve come a long way” thrust of MLK celebrations with a much more positive “no business as usual” spirit and content. They opposed the way MLK celebrations are presided over by the city’s mayor and other city officials.

So, a core of these radical activists coalesced a critical mass of supporters and began marching on to a different destination—a homeless shelter, slated to be shut down by the mayor of St. Louis. For them, defiantly standing up against the city’s attempt to degrade the homeless was a more appropriate way to celebrate MLK Day. Efforts to close down a shelter that provides a clinic, transitional housing, and a soup kitchen to the homeless has been the source of friction between activists and the city of St. Louis over the past year.

Two hundred protesters occupied the street in front of the homeless shelter where a rally took place. Chants rang out declaring: “Homeless lives matter.” Much of the focus of the protest was on the ongoing struggle for justice for Mike Brown and how it has ushered in a new day. The first speaker suggested that the wave of struggle following the murder of Mike Brown represented the same kind of “revolution” that King represented. While uniting with the desire to take the movement to a higher level, revolutionaries seized the opportunity to discuss BA’s quote from BAsics that states: “...Revolution means nothing less than the defeat and dismantling of the existing, oppressive state, serving the capitalist-imperialist system...” (from BAsics 3:3)

As the rally ended, approximately 25 protesters headed to Harris-Stowe where the official MLK program was taking place. They entered the auditorium waving an upside-down American flag and chanted, “No justice, no peace!” One police brutality activist said, “This program is more of the same.” One Harris-Stowe student added that the university represents the “establishment” and “the politics of respectability.” One well-known blogger presented a similar view on Twitter. “The split is between those who feel like respectability politics isn’t going to lead to freedom,” he wrote. “And that this (King Day) program is respectability.” City officials, a number of students, and others at the event expressed anger that the protesters shut down the event. But a statement on the responded: “Martin Luther King Jr.’s life’s work was the elevation, honoring, and defense of Black Lives. His tools included non-violent civil disobedience and direct action. From here on, MLK weekend will be known as a time of national resistance to injustice.”

Later in the afternoon, 250 protesters gathered at the site where Mike Brown was murdered on Canfield Drive in Ferguson to begin a four-mile trek that went to the Ferguson Police Station and later returned to Canfield. This was part of nationally coordinated protests in other U.S. cities. Surprisingly, there was no sign of the police at the Ferguson police department building. After a spirited march, a rally was held in the new parking lot directly in front of the newly built police station. The names of all the individuals murdered by police in Missouri and Illinois in 2014 were read. Later, protesters occupied the street.


Stanford students and others shut down the San Mateo Bridge. The action involved people and cars blocking the bridge for 28 minutes to symbolize that police or vigilantes kill a Black person every 28 hours; 68 people were arrested. The protest, organized by Silicon Shut Down, a collective of students, stated that the action was “in defense of all Black lives. We stand with Black men and women. We act when Black Queer and Trans lives are threatened. We defend the rights of our Black family when we are poor, disabled and incarcerated.” People carried Palestinian and Mexican flags in solidarity with victims of government-sponsored and U.S.-sponsored violence in Mexico and Palestine. “We chose to inconvenience the weekend commute because the status quo is deadly to the black and brown peoples of this country and can no longer be tolerated,” a student told the Stanford Daily, “We are honoring MLK’s legacy by forcefully reminding Silicon Valley that, decades after Martin Luther King, black lives, and brown lives, and the lives of all oppressed people, still matter.” The Stanford Daily said that students wanted to remind Silicon Valley, one of the wealthiest areas in California, “it can’t ignore oppression in the midst of its own comfort.” 

Oakland Religious Rally – Christians for Black Liberation. In downtown Oakland, ministers and their congregations from many Black churches and some other churches held a Black Lives Matter rally uniting with the hashtag “Christians for Black Liberation.” One woman minister who had helped organize a die-in by religious forces on Saturday at the Grand Lake theater in Oakland after a special showing of Selma told, “How can we turn a blind eye to what is happening to the young people of our community? As a Christian I feel it is my duty to speak up.” Another minister said that he had been racially profiled just last week and that his own son had been racially profiled and jailed. The minister of one of the largest Black churches said that they had been burying Black boys and men for years “way before their time” and that Black people had been subject to police brutality for years and years, but what has changed is that people in Ferguson had stood up and now “we have a movement in Oakland that joins with others across the country – “Black Lives Matter.”

March from Fruitvale Station goes 38+ blocks through East Oakland. Several thousand people gathered at Oscar Grant (Fruitvale Bart) Plaza.  After a rally the march flowed down block after block through East Oakland where thousands of Black and Brown people live in poverty and are brutalized by police on a daily basis. It passed by the liquor store where the police shot Brownie Polk. Teenagers from the hood joined the march. A woman brought her kids out to International Boulevard with a “ Black Lives Matter”  sign they had made a few days before. Latino construction and restaurant workers stopped work to greet the march. The mainstream media said that BART train service was temporarily shut down.

San Francisco March.  About 3,000 people took part in a march, very diverse with people from all over the San Francisco area along with 1,700 people who arrived on the yearly Freedom Train from San Jose. The march was made up of many from civil rights organizations and church groupings as well as many others. Stop Mass Incarceration led chants which were well-received and also led a mass recitation of the SMIN Pledge of Resistance: “Today we pledge/Black lives matter, Latino lives matter, All lives matter! /Mass Incarceration –We say no more! /Police murder—We say no more! /Torture in the prisons—We say no more! /Criminalization of generations—We say no more! /Attacks on immigrants—We say no more! /We will NOT be silent!  We WILL resist! /Until these shameful horrors, really are, NO MORE!” After the march there was a panel presentation entitled “From Selma to Ferguson.” Thousands of copies of the Revolution editorial “The Cold but Liberating Truth About the Police, The Struggle for Justice, and Revolution” were distributed as well as cards about the Dialogue between Cornel West and Bob Avakian, “Revolution and Religion: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion, and many copies of Revolution newspaper were distributed in the rallies and marches in Oakland and San Francisco. 


By noon on January 19 hundreds of people were gathered at 110th and Malcolm X Blvd. ready to march – high school and college youth, families of three generations, professionals, and others. People were carrying homemade signs saying, "I Can't Breathe," "Black Lives Matter" and others. One youngster had a sign that said, “I Can Breathe...So I Must Speak." Drawing a lot of attention, with lots of people taking photos, was the NYC Revolution Club banner calling for Revolution; with people of all ages from Harlem wearing "BA Speaks: Revolution Nothing Less" T shirts and getting everyone copies of the editorial, "The Cold but Liberating Truth About the Police, the Struggle for Justice, and Revolution," selling Revolution newspaper, and passing out signs, including, "Stop Police Murder... We Need Revolution." One woman, a high school youth, had a bag with the slogan, "Smash the Fucking Patriarchal System!" She was there against her father's wishes, but said she needed to be there. She was elated to hear about the January 22nd protest defending abortion rights and women in Washington, D.C. – she said had an abortion and wanted to be there on the 22nd.

Across the intersection the NYPD amassed police vehicles, cops and metal barriers lining 110 Street. Then, shortly before the march took off, the Revolution Club called for people to gather round their banner and Noche Diaz of the Revolution Club spoke to the large group that quickly assembled. Noche hit hard on the need for and possibility of revolution, to build the movement for revolution now in the midst of the fight to stop police really end this and the system the police serve. He spoke to the strategy for revolution, for being able to win, and that people needed to step forward to join the Revolution Club, to become part of the movement that can lead millions in revolution when the time is right. The impact and challenge rippled through the crowd.

As the march moved through East Harlem and down the major Lexington Avenue it grew to a thousand. People got the revolutionary literature being passed out by the Rev Club and many joined the march off the sidewalk and projects and business places.  Huge pictures of victims of police murder and a giant "Black Lives Matter" rose above the sea of other signs. Chanting rang out continuously for the entire 4 miles through an upscale part of the city. The Rev Club led several chants that hundreds took up especially: "50 Years since MLK/Why we still livin’ this way? /Revolution is what we need/ To Liberate Humanity!” In another section of the march people initiated the chant: "What’s the problem? /The whole damn system/What's the Solution? /Revolution!”

Right in front of the huge Bloomingdale store and high end offices and shops the whole march did a massive die-in. Everyone streamed into the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza at the UN, including pre-school youth still carrying their small cardboard signs, an older man from Harlem with a walker, who then gathered to hear a powerful hip hop rap and a wide range of speakers including Iris Baez, the mother of Anthony Baez who was murdered by the NYPD in 1994 in a chokehold.  One theme of several of the brief talks was at one point expressed by a youth, that "Yes, this is MLK’s birthday, but we are here to say that we are not going to be here 50 years from now with this police murder and mass incarceration still going on."  A young woman, referring to the Obama regime said, "First we heard...'Yes We Can' it’s 'I can't breathe'!"


Among numerous Chicago MLK day commemorations, there were significant events aimed at marking MLK Day with protest against the ongoing injustice facing Black people—in contrast to focusing on talking about “how far we’ve come” and readings of the “I have a dream” speech.

On Thursday, January 15, the Chicago United People of Color Caucus of the National Lawyer’s Guild, (TUPOCC) in solidarity with #blacklivesmatter held a noon hour protest to “indict the system” at Federal Plaza in the Chicago Loop business district. “The system is not broken. It is doing what it was designed to do” stated the online call. Over 50 lawyers, law students, legal workers and clients carried signs, each beginning, “Indict the system for:” followed by a series of things ranging from mass incarceration to massive spying to attacks on women and immigrants. Then a big scroll listing these grievances was unfurled. Each one was read and a people’s judge pronounced his verdict: “The U.S. is GUILTY!!”

That cold and snowy evening, hundreds of people showed up at a progressive high school/middle school near the University of Illinois for a rally and march to the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center to demand that the juvenile inmates be freed. It was sponsored by an intergenerational coalition of activists and community members that included many grade school, high school and college students. The core of the march was Black youth and some of their teachers from the progressive school. The spirit of these young kids inspired the crowd. One of the school’s teachers opened up the event and the main MC was an articulate and engaging 12-year-old student. He spoke bitterness about the conditions that Black and Brown students face. The crowd of youth at the center of the rally cheered and chanted. Other speakers included a young Black poet that performed a fierce spoken word piece about how the system is killing him and others from the local spoken word scene.

Protesters then marched to the notorious juvenile detention center. Along the route the march had a real effect on people. Cars honked and people leaned out of the windows joining in with the chants. Once at the detention center, protesters marched around the building then assembled at the entrance to the center chanting to the youth inside. A group called The Light Brigade lit up a string of lights 20-30 feet wide: “FREE US ALL.” And then they illuminated the words, “Indict the System" four to five stories up on the wall of this dungeon. Silhouettes of the youth could be seen banging on the windows inside and jumping up and down.

On Monday, Jan 19, the Coalition Against Police Violence and Total Blackout for Reform held a rally drawing several hundred people to the Water Tower in Chicago's upscale Magnificent Mile shopping district. After a short rally, with one speaker challenging the audience that we have to fight police terror "until we win"—the mostly young protesters headed down the sidewalks among shoppers from all over the world. They waved signs and chanted “Black Lives Matter” and “Hands up don’t shoot”—periodically pausing for 4.5 minutes in memory of the 4.5 hours Michael Brown’s body was left lying on the ground after police killed him.

At all of these protests, the editorial, "The Cold, but Liberating Truth About the Police, the Struggle for Justice and Revolution" got out broadly, along with information on the Dialogue Between Cornel West & Bob Avakian: “Revolution and Religion: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion."


60 people took part in the "4 Mile March" actions on Martin Luther King Jr. Day on January 19. Student organizations from Cleveland State University, Progressive Student Action and Student Socialist Society helped organize the day to protest the police killings of Tamir Rice, Tanisha Anderson, Melissa Williams, Timothy Russell, Mike Brown, Eric Garner and many others here and around the country. The march began where 12-year-old Tamir Rice was killed at the Cudell Recreation Center and then took over a main street to downtown. We stopped at an intersection disrupting traffic for a time. Along the way a few of us got out hundreds of the editorial from, “The Cold but Liberating Truth About the Police, the Struggle for Justice, and Revolution” to people and stores along the way. As we approached the Detroit-Superior Bridge to downtown the police began moving on us, telling us to march only in two lanes of the bridge. At this point, a marcher said that this day is in honor of Martin Luther King and his actions of civil disobedience so no we will stay in the four lanes. We locked arms and walked. As we marched on the bridge the police arrested three people. They grabbed the one man and hit him with an elbow to the ribs and then punched him hard in the stomach, forcing him to hit the hard cement.  

As we got to the end of the bridge, the police blocked us in with their cars and said we could not go on. Outrageous. We got through and many of us joined others in a march on the eastside of the city along Martin Luther King Drive, blocking traffic there and having a vigil where the police killed Tanisha Anderson on November 12. There was a real mix of people from family members of Tamir Rice, Black and white students, some youth and activists from the Black and immigrant communities and supporters of the Revolutionary Communist Party. Throughout the march loud chants rang out as we marched, getting the attention of onlookers. A young Black woman chanted, “We don’t need no oppression/We need revolution/We don’t need no racist cops/We need revolution,” and people dug it.  In summing up the day a revolutionary said, “We were defiant. We shut the bridge down. Our demeanor was aggressive and when the police told us to get on one side of the bridge we didn’t. We stayed at our own pace. Frankly, I don’t give a shit what they say. Let them know we are not afraid to stand up against them.  This has to stop, the police killings, and we will have to stop it.”


There was a big turnout for a 4 mile march – about 1,000-1,500 marched through downtown and did two die-ins by the public gardens and in front of the Statehouse where the names of people killed by the police were read off and repeated.  The crowd included college and high school students, Unitarians from the suburbs and many communities and veteran anti-war and other activists.


Tens of thousands of people lined the streets of South Central Los Angeles for blocks and blocks for this year’s Martin Luther King "Kingdom Day" Parade. There were high school marching bands; all kinds of decorated vehicles; and large contingents of LAPD, CHP, and other cops. Among all this there were also many others who marched determined to continue the political storm that has shaken the country in recent months of protests against police murder.

Near the very front of the parade was a striking contingent of older Black men all dressed in suits and ties, each holding their own, identical sign—"Black Lives Matter." They called themselves "Suits in Solidarity." Alpha Phi Alpha, the oldest Black fraternity in the country (whose members have included MLK, Olympian Jesse Owens, Justice Thurgood Marshall), had a sizable contingent. Along with college students from UCLA, USC, and many of the other universities in Southern California and beyond, they had a float with a large sign that read "7 Jewels of Injustice." Under it were the photos of seven Black youths killed by police, including Oscar Grant, Michael Brown, and Tamir Rice. Under the photo it read: "Black Lives Matter to Alpha Phi Alpha." And there were many individuals carrying their own signs in the parade: "Civil Rights Matter," "Black Lives Matter," and others.

Near the end of the parade there were about 200 protesters, including family members of Mayra Cornejo, Tyler Woods, and several others killed by police—with lots of signs in at least three loud contingents, organized by groups including the Martin Luther King Coalition; the Youth and Justice Coalition; and one organized by the Stop Mass Incarceration Network (SMIN), the LA Revolution Club, and Stop Patriarchy. The Revolution Club passed out thousands of copies of the editorial, "The Cold but Liberating Truth About the Police, the Struggle for Justice, and Revolution," and Revolution newspapers got out to many along the sidewalks.

SMIN got out hundreds and hundreds of whistles (used to call out the police) to people, who immediately put them on, and often began blowing them on the spot! And behind this contingent, people were putting on the sticker, "No New Year Under this Old System—We Can't Breathe!"

People who are part of the Stop Patriarchy network passed out fliers calling on people to “get on the vans” to go to the SF Bay Area on January 23-24 to demonstrate to defend a woman’s right to abortion and challenge the "Walk for Life" organized by the anti-abortion, anti-woman fanatics, and passed out the sticker, "Abortion On Demand and Without Apology."


In years past, the annual Martin Luther King Day rally and march in Seattle has often had an atmosphere of celebration. This year, with events in Ferguson, Missouri, and all the other recent murders of Black youths, there was an air of frustration and anger, and also a spirit of defiance and determination. There were well over a thousand people there. A large Black Lives Matter contingent was prominent and made their voices heard.

Revolutionaries got out hundreds of copies of the new statement, "The Cold but Liberating Truth About the Police, the Struggle for Justice, and Revolution," and people seemed to be thirsty for information, new views, and proposals. Several hundred palm cards also got out about the Dialogue last November between Cornel West and Bob Avakian, “Revolution and Religion: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion.” These cards made for some significant interactions and discussions. Martin Luther King was very religious, and religion was on the minds of many attending the rally. These discussions ranged from a former Black Panther who had helped distribute Mao's Red Book back in the day, but these days is trying to use religion to change the world; to a white man working for social justice at his Unitarian Universalist church. Connections were made to discuss showing the Dialogue to different groups.

The local October 22 Coalition to Stop Police Brutality had called for people to come with signs demanding justice for Oscar Perez-Giron, a young Latino man and immigrant recently murdered by police in Seattle over a $2.50 train fare. Friends and family of Perez-Giron were there and we joined them, bringing out to people the need to fight this whole epidemic of police brutality, the nature of the system responsible, and the need for revolution. People related to this, and helped with chants about revolution in Spanish. We also interacted with a Spanish-speaking contingent for the 43 students recently murdered by police in Mexico.

After the main rally and march ended, many got on buses to go home. But others wanted to keep demonstrating and a couple hundred people gathered to take the streets and intersections. They were making it clear this was no MLK day of "business as usual"!

Seattle Police Department (SPD) bicycle cops rushed to form a line to stop people but many made it through the line. When one protester who did not turned around to answer his phone a cop ran up and pepper sprayed him in the face! He is a teacher and Black Student Union adviser at a local high school. Protesters linked arms and walked towards the police line chanting. Police attacked other people. A young Black woman who was video recording from the sidewalk was also pepper sprayed in the face by a cop. Witnesses say she was completely nonviolent, not threatening, on the sidewalk with arms up, doing nothing wrong or illegal. A young Black man who has been a visible organizer in this protest movement was taken down on a sidewalk, landing in the street where his face hit the ground and broke his glasses. When asked what he was arrested for, cops said, "assault." This incident happened after the protest was over and people were leaving.

There is a video published in the media of one protester, already blinded by pepper spray and slowly groping his way to the sidewalk, being sprayed over and over again, then jerked from behind and flung down hard into the street. There is a photo sequence posted on social media of a young white man walking down the sidewalk with his hands in the air and back to police. Bicycle cops come up behind him and a cop flips him up and over a low concrete wall, onto a hard surface. There are visible injuries. Then he is arrested! A middle-aged woman, a doctor, reports that when she asked to be allowed to provide medical aid to an injured protester, she was shoved down in the street by cops, hitting her head. In addition to the swarms of bicycle police, unmarked vans full of armored cops with long, heavy-wood hitting poles rushed about and deployed at various sites.

While SPD was inflicting this storm of violence on the marchers, another group of protesters went onto Highway 99 and chained their arms to each other inside pipes so they could not easily be removed. We joined this protest and got their flier, which said, "We are a group of white people, primarily Jews and queers, calling on our communities to stop and take note of the constant and devastating injustices committed by white supremacy." Their goal was to shut down the freeway for the four and a half hours that Mike Brown was left in the street. The highway was closed for about two hours while the police came in and cut the pipes and chains. Meanwhile, yet another group also shut down portions of Interstate 5 for short periods of time!

The events of this day were a significant escalation of attempts to suppress this movement. At least 19 protesters were arrested. There are widespread reports of police generally vamping on peaceful people, pepper spraying, shoving, tackling, and arresting. Witnesses say SPD cops did "snatch and grab" arrests of people having a visible role in the protests. This is AFTER a recent big Seattle City Council meeting where the SPD was confronted for targeting protest leaders. Apparently the SPD is making it clear they intend to continue targeting people as a method to suppress this movement.





Revolution #371 January 26, 2015

An Unprecedented Act:

Anti-Abortion March Brought to a Halt in DC

January 23, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


We received this correspondence from Mary Lou Greenberg, who was one of the protesters arrested at the January 22 counter-protest against the anti-abortionists in Washington, DC.


January 22, Washington, DC

Yesterday was really unprecedented—nothing like this has happened before. As people who read know, there have been fierce attacks on abortion, including from the Christian fascists and other religious fundamentalists, and the Catholic Church. Since the Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion in 1973, they have had events in DC to counter Roe. They say it's a “march for life,” but really it's a march for female enslavement.

StopPatriarchy was determined to lead people in making a very powerful statement about what's at stake in this battle. It has to do with women's lives and future. And it has nothing to do with what the anti forces claim it is about, "saving babies." It's about whether there's women's liberation or women's enslavement! This statement was made in the face of this annual "march for life" that is always used to whip up the antis’ forces, to try to fill them with moral righteousness—which these forces have none of in reality.

They bused in thousands of people, including many young people from Catholic and other religious schools. At the speak-out we had shortly before our action, where different people spoke out, including the national president of NOW, there were several groups of school-age youths who would pass by on their way to where the anti-abortion march was gathering. And we would speak to them about the truth, about what abortion really is and what a horror banning abortion is to women. When their teachers saw that, they told the kids to hurry along—they did not want the youths to talk to us and be confronted with the truth. Hopefully what we said and the images we had of the women who died from illegal abortions made an impression on them.

January 22, Washington, DC

Washington, DC, January 22

StopPatriarchy called on people to come to the Supreme Court on January 22 and politically confront the anti-abortionists. There were people who work with StopPatriarchy, and there were others—people who had come to stand up for women, from Cleveland, Detroit, different parts of the East Coast. There were people from the NOW office in DC who were there with their signs, as well as individuals who came with home-made signs because they wanted to stand against the anti-abortion forces. There were students who had heard about this.

The DC police had a strong presence protecting the anti-abortion march. When the march turned a corner, onto the street that separates the Capitol grounds from the Supreme Court, we saw a whole phalanx of police lining the whole width of the street, in motorized sidecars and police cars. Behind them, stretching for blocks, was what the anti-abortionists claim was the largest "march for life" there has been.

Washington, DC, January 22
Photo: Special to

StopPatriarchy activists and others moved into the street and spread across it with a bright orange banner, "Abortion On Demand and Without Apology,” other signs, and huge portraits created by artists of women who had been killed by illegal abortions and abortion restrictions. The police vehicles moved towards us at a steady pace, until they were right in front of us. They got very close—one of the sidecars pushed into my leg—and then stopped, faced by determined women and men who refused to be intimidated and responded with chants: "No more 'nice girls,' we are fighting back!" and "Without this basic right, women can't be free, abortion on demand and without apology!" The anti-abortion, anti-woman march was prevented from proceeding for about 40 minutes and only got underway again when activists were arrested and forced from the street.

This was the first time that the anti-abortionists’ annual march has been brought to a halt, with an unmistakable message and delivery—a message that not only must these attacks on abortion—on women—be fought, but that we are fighting them. It was unprecedented both in the message itself and how it was said—in the streets, directly politically confronting these fascist forces that have claimed this day, the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, for far too long. While there have been protests on this day each year in the past, including by Stop Patriarchy, and I personally have been part of those, it has needed to go far beyond chants and signs—although the chants and signs we did have this time were very powerful, like the huge pictures of women who died because of illegal abortions, making the point that this fight is about women's lives.

There were dozens in the street, about 75-100. It was not large in size relative to the antis’ march, but large in determination to make this political statement, and to summon other people forward, full of heart and courage. After about 30 minutes, the police moved in and began arresting people. Eight of us were arrested. They pulled us into a paddy wagon, were taken to the police station close to the Supreme Court, and were held for several hours. We were fingerprinted and charged with disorderly conduct, and we are going back there on February 11 for a hearing of our case.

In the police van, we chanted, "Every generation has an obligation to women's liberation." And there were people from different generations in that van. I'm from the generation that became active in the 1960s, and I’ve been a revolutionary communist for many years. I felt pride and great elation being there with young women who were taking up this battle—not just a battle that has to be fought generation after generation, but as part of making revolution in this country and bringing about a whole new world, with the liberation of women a key and critical part. This was a great experience for me and everyone there. Everybody felt a great elation in doing what's needed, and signaling to people all over that we are fighting to win this battle for women's lives.




Revolution #371 January 26, 2015

Washington, DC, January 22

Standing Up Against the "March for Female Enslavement"

January 23, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

January 23, 2015—Yesterday morning in NYC at 5:30 am, I met up with a group of about 30 folks that decided to get ourselves to DC. We wanted to make sure that the March for “Life” did not simply go unopposed parading by the Supreme Court under the pretense that they have the higher moral ground. We dubbed the anti-abortion march the “March for Female Enslavement.”

Washington DC, January 22
Photo: Special to

We were organized under the campaign of and found leadership in some seasoned revolutionaries and NYC Revolution Club members. The group also included artists who created beautiful drawings of the faces of women who have died from unsafe and illegal abortions. It is estimated that 50,000 women die each year in places where abortion is illegal. On the bus, I also met some newly involved persons who were compelled to act by the recent marked increase in the attacks on abortion rights and also an increase in the objectification and degradation of women overall, especially with the saturation of our culture with pornography and sexualized music and movies/books like 50 Shades of Grey or Twilight. Personally, I feel that this all amounts to a War against Women and that it is critical to oppose the anti-abortion movement, especially on a national stage, with the aim of effecting change and raising people’s sights to rise up and fight back.

When we got to the capital, we found other protesters from NOW (National Organization for Women) with signs saying “Keep Abortion Legal” and another dozen or so activists who traveled from other states to denounce the march. I spoke to one young man from Pennsylvania who said he and his friends “are bringing Ferguson to Washington.” He said that he wants to contribute to revolutionizing people and that protests around Mike Brown’s murder has changed what is acceptable in society. He reported having read some Bob Avakian over the last few years and only hearing about two weeks ago. He also said, “I’m really pissed with how the country is, especially how reproductive rights are used to control women, and it’s not just about the U.S.—the laws specifically against the whole female gender are much worse in the Third World.”

At a certain point the March for Female Enslavement reached our rally point in front of the Supreme Court, and our protest spilled out into the street. The banner “Abortion On Demand and Without Apology” and the several dozen activists were effectively a blockade of the many tens of thousands of anti-abortion marchers. We chanted and held our ground for over 45 minutes with a bold statement to the whole country and the world. This is a state of emergency and we won’t let the future of millions of women be foreclosed upon by backward repressive laws and patriarchal values. This was a call to all those on the sidelines to get involved to fight for the full liberation of women.




Revolution #371 January 26, 2015

Stop Patriarchy Disrupts Anti-Abortion/Anti-Woman Rally by Black Preachers

January 23, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

January 23, Oakland, Calif.—Today some 40-50 pro-choice demonstrators totally disrupted the so-called “StandingUp4Life” rally being held by a group of anti-abortion, anti-woman Black preachers, right at Oscar Grant Plaza (re-named in memory of one of the thousands of unarmed Black men murdered by police) in downtown Oakland. These ministers are part of the national Christian fascist movement which is trying to overturn Roe v. Wade and completely outlaw abortion. They were in for a surprise today!

Members of, the Bay Area Revolution Club, and others first gathered at the corner of 14th and Broadway for a short rally, where Carl Dix exposed the lie that abortion was Black genocide—in fact, denying Black women the right to control their lives and reproduction today was just what slave masters did under slavery.

Then, the group, led by Carl Dix, Sunsara Taylor, and, marched right to the amphitheater where the woman-haters and their supporters were rallying. The march went right down the steps, and right to the stage where one of the anti-woman preachers was carrying on. The protesters and their signs and bright, big banners: Abortion On Demand and Without Apology, and Forced Motherhood is Female Enslavement in both English and Spanish, and Stop Demonizing and Shaming of Black Women, Real Genocide Is Police Murder and Mass Incarceration, completely overshadowed the stage, and totally disrupted the anti-woman, anti-abortion rally.

Oakland, January 23

Oakland, January 23
Photos: Special to

It was a wild, raucous, and polarized scene. The minister on the mic kept repeating demagogic garbage like, “These are the people who want to murder babies, these are the people who want to murder babies.” Another one—“Babies have rights, babies have rights.” The defenders of women’s rights were chanting and speaking out: “Abortion On Demand and Without Apology! Without This Basic Right, Women Can’t Be Free!” Carl Dix and Sunsara Taylor were speaking out on the bullhorn. Before long some of the anti-abortion forces – including younger people who seemed stunned and shocked by what was going on – rushed down to hold their signs – “Life Is a Gift, Not a Choice” and “All Life Is Sacred” in front of our banners.  When two women brought’s English and Spanish “Abortion On Demand and Without Apology!” banner right up onto the stage next to the preacher, some of his supporters stood in front of it and tried to block it.

Some 15 or 20 people who just happened to see the Stop Patriarchy action joined in at one point or another.

After more than 20 minutes, the police came between the two groups, but by then the whole anti-abortion, anti-woman game plan had been disrupted. The lead preacher announced they wouldn’t march after all (claiming he wanted everyone to be “safe”) and instead said they were going to wind up their rally and called everyone up on stage.

The exposure of the lie that they were about protecting Black women and lives didn’t stop; we continued from the steps. Then after a short march back to 14th and Broadway, Sunsara Taylor, who had just flown in from Washington, DC where halted the so-called “March for Life” for 40 minutes, concluded the day by challenging people to bring the spirit of Ferguson into the movement to defend women’s rights and make 2015 the year we turn the tide on abortion rights and the whole war on women.

Today, it felt like that was really beginning to happen!




Revolution #371 January 26, 2015

San Francisco: Spirited Counter-Protest Against the “Walk of Lies”

January 25, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


San Francisco, January 24Photo:

From a correspondent:

January 24—Every year, tens of thousands of anti-abortion forces bused in from as far away as Texas flood the streets of San Francisco in their yearly “Walk for Life,” a misogynous (woman-hating) parade organized by a network of Catholic churches aimed at criminalizing abortion and imposing forced motherhood on women. This year, Stop Patriarchy’s call to STAND UP for abortion rights and to CONFRONT & DEFEAT the war on women infused the counter-protest by Stop Patriarchy, the Bay Area Revolution Club, and others with a fighting spirit, making the whole afternoon a very two-sided battle.

As the anti-abortion forces massed in Civic Center, about 200 people gathered a few blocks away, at Powell and Market. Our banners read “Forced Motherhood Is Female Enslavement,” “Abortion On Demand and Without Apology,” and “Unleash the Fury of Women as a Mighty Force for Revolution.” Many people brought their own signs, like “another man for women’s right to choose” and “An egg is not a Chicken. A fetus is not a Baby.” Others carried coat hangers, some of them straightened grotesquely like those once commonly used for illegal abortions.

The woman-haters were much more aggressive than in years past, perhaps after hearing of Stop Patriarchy’s protests in Washington, DC, and Oakland. When we arrived to confront them, they already had squads of anti-abortion youth carrying signs saying “I am the Pro-Life Generation” and huge signs with new slogans like “pregnancy resources on demand” lined up right up along the street where counter-protesters usually stand. The police already had the two sides separated by barricades.

But this only further outraged those who turned out to support women’s fundamental rights. A powerful rally was held, with speeches by Sunsara Taylor of Stop Patriarchy and writer for newspaper; Carl Dix of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA; other representatives of Stop Patriarchy; and women who wanted to tell the world why they supported abortion rights. During one of the rally/speak-outs held that day, one young woman said she was there because her mother had been forced to go to Mexico to get an illegal abortion—”what if she had died, leaving her three children without her?”

Then, as the “Walk of Lies” came by, we took off marching ahead of them. People made several spirited pushes out into the street—trying to step right in front of the antis with banners and large portraits of women who had died because of not having access to abortion. But police on foot, motorcycles, and bicycles aggressively threatened or attacked and physically pushed people back onto the sidewalk, sometimes pushing people to the ground. One woman, a staffer at Revolution Books, was grabbed, violently thrown to the ground, and then arrested.

Meanwhile, the anti-abortion forces had a more belligerent tone; the phalanxes of anti-abortion youth rushed down the sidewalks with their signs, trying to line the streets. They chanted “babies, babies, babies, babies.” At several points the main body of marchers, which is usually well away from pro-choice protesters, came right near the sidewalk. Later, on social media, they bragged about working with the police to stop the “pro-aborts.”

But all this further energized—and outraged—our counter-march to defend women’s basic rights. We marched alongside their parade for women’s enslavement, chanting and holding signs and banners, all the way down to the end of Market Street. One popular chant that captured the mood of our counter-protest: “Fuck You Woman Haters—Women Are NOT Incubators!!” We then rallied and held a speak-out right in their faces as they marched into Justin Herman Plaza. Young women from local colleges and high schools were ferocious and articulate on the bullhorn—going to town calling out the “March for Life” for being a march of woman-haters and forcefully declaring “We’re not going back” and “We’re going to fight these attacks”—conveying a clarity about the real stakes of this battle.

San Francisco, January 24Photo:

Afterward at a final speak-out, people, including people who had joined us on the spot during the day, stepped up to talk about their own experiences and what compelled them to stand up for women’s basic rights. One young Black woman said she was there for her niece who got pregnant; when she told her mother, her mother slapped her and told her to suck it up and forced her to have a child against her wishes. Another young woman, a Latina, said, “Last year I was marching with them, and saw you, but I was told you’re killing babies. But then I realized those people don’t want women to have any rights, that they should even be forced to have the babies of rapists.” Sunsara Taylor and Carl Dix saluted the protesters and invited them to deepen the struggle for abortion rights and do so while checking out the movement for revolution.




Revolution #371 January 26, 2015

Austin, Texas: Confronting the Anti-Abortion Fascists at the State Capitol

January 25, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

Austin, Texas, January 24

Austin, Texas, January 24Photos: Special to

For the past several years on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, Christian fascist woman-haters have held a “Rally for Life” on the front (south) steps of the Texas state capitol in Austin. And every year they spread their poison and mobilize their troops in the war against women. But this year they were challenged and confronted by a militant contingent organized by Stop Patriarchy, carrying banners and placards and chanting “without this basic right, women can't be free, abortion on demand and without apology!”

A reproductive rights rally was organized by Austin pro-choice groups to take place simultaneously on the capitol’s back (north) steps. Stop Patriarchy put out a call for people to join this event and be part of a contingent that would go around to the front to confront the fascists.

Throughout the afternoon, the thousands of woman-hating antis were confronted by revolutionaries, Stop Patriarchy, and youth who joined in from the pro-choice movement. When we marched into the pro-choice rally, we challenged people to join with us to stop the antis' march on the other side of the capitol. A group of youths said, “It’s about time,” and over a dozen joined in to march and confront the antis. Marching down the street, our group went to block the beginning of the antis’ march as dozens of pro-choice people held up signs and counter-protested from across the street.

We jumped right in front of the antis’ march, chanting non-stop, holding up both of our banners—Forced Motherhood Is Female Enslavement, and Abortion On Demand and Without Apology—as they were entering the capitol area. A tug of war ensued—the cops pushed some of us onto the grass, and despite their strong-arming and threats to arrest us, and big men shoulder-butting and punching the two women on the mic, we held our ground till the last marcher passed. Though we weren’t able to actually bring the march to a halt, we did force it to go around us. And every marcher was confronted with our message and our resistance, as we set a defiant tone for our movement to go forward in the fight for women to be recognized as full human beings.

This message reverberated over to the pro-choice rally, as more than half of the 300 people there took up Stop Patriarchy stickers and materials.




Revolution #371 January 26, 2015

Confronting the Anti-Abortionists in Atlanta

January 23, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


From reader:

January 22, 2015: The Revolution Club Atlanta and Revolution Books initiated a counter-protest to the anti-abortion/anti-women rally called March for “Life” in Atlanta. Statements promoting a woman’s right to abortion, gender equality, cessation of patriarchy, and the deconstruction of the “pro-life” argument were made through loud chants, bright neon banners, and “blood-stained” white suits.

Forced Motherhood is Female Enslavement

Shortly after arriving at the Capitol's Liberty Plaza, where the anti-abortion rally was held, we were told by the police to move to the designated, and very secluded, counter-protest area. Despite their attempts to make our demonstration nearly invisible to the public, we were able to relocate and be seen and heard at a fairly busy intersection. There we chanted loudly, bringing us lots of attention, and engaged with both anti-abortion and pro-choice passersby. Each was encouraged to think critically not only about the rights to abortion, but about all of the other ways women are treated as less than human and exploited in this patriarchal society.

As the anti-abortion silent march kicked off, we readied our banners (Abortion On Demand and Without Apology and Forced Motherhood is Female Enslavement) and posters and shouted our chants passionately. “Pro-Life your name’s a lie, you don’t care if women die,” “A fetus is not a baby until it comes out, that’s what birthdays are all about,” “Not the church, not the state, women will decide their fate,” along with others. The anti-abortion march was led by the one and only keynote speaker, “Molotov” Mitchell, a self-proclaimed “Christian Supremacist” who wants his co-religionists to shove aside “effeminized American Christianity” and start “advancing the Kingdom on earth.” Once in close proximity, we marched alongside them and ensured our messages were heard by all. An opportunity to march in the street in front of their march presented itself, so we took it, stretched out our banners, and held our ground for several blocks. Our voices echoed and permeated the air as we marched through the Georgia State University campus. We kept the energy high until the very end.

It is important that the side standing against female enslavement be present so the public knows that this fight isn’t over. Today we made that presence known, and hopefully, in doing so, were able to inspire others to join this fight.




Revolution #371 January 26, 2015

Sunday January 18

Chicago: Wild and Defiant Counter-Protest Confronts Anti-Abortionists

Updated January 21, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | received the following two correspondences:

From a reader:

All photos: Special to

CPCs are "Crisis Pregnancy Centers" run by people opposed to abortion that exist to stop young women from getting abortions.

On Sunday, January 18, a large gathering of rabid anti-abortionists (at least a couple thousand) led by the new Chicago Archbishop, Blase Cupich, and longtime woman-hater Joseph Scheidler was confronted by a defiant crowd of more than 100 protesters, mainly young women. A counter-protest of this size is something very new in the Chicago area. The main organizer of the counter-protest is a group called FURIE—Feminist Uprising to Resist Inequality and Exploitation. A Facebook event was also called by Stop Patriarchy. The Chicago Revolution Club was also in the house. Some people from FURIE and the Revolution Club joyously recognized each other from being in the streets together around the police murders of Michael Brown and Eric Garner.

The protest was wild and defiant. FURIE had called it a Dance Party to Counter the Illinois March for Life. They came marching in as a group chanting and carrying all kinds of creative home-made signs. They welcomed Stop Patriarchy’s banner and many slapped on “Abortion On Demand and Without Apology” and “Abortion Providers Are Heroes” stickers. The cops forced the counter-protesters across the street but they just chanted louder and more defiantly. “Keep Your Rosaries off My Ovaries” and “Not the Church, Not the State, Women Must Decide Our Fate” rang out.

The pro-choice crew then marched through the Loop, stopped and had a speak-out. One of the speakers talked about being raped at age 12 and how she knew then that abortion was her right, although she didn't get pregnant. A young-woman reproductive rights activist said she had moved from Nevada 24 hours earlier. She talked about what a conservative state Nevada is and how happy she was to be in this unrepentant crowd of pro-choice women.

After the speak-out the protesters purposely positioned themselves to make a wall of signs and banners to confront the antis as they returned back to Federal Plaza. Seeing the reactionaries just motivated protesters to chant louder and blow the whistles passed out earlier by the Revolution Club. This was a dynamic beginning for a new year of mass defiance in the streets.

* * * * *


From Chicago Revolution Club:


The Revolution Club in Chicago has primarily focused our work in the most downtrodden sections of Chicago’s south side and west side Black ghettos. We have also been really active in protests all over the city around Michael Brown and Eric Garner, including some of us getting arrested. Two Club members are facing serious felony charges from these protests.

Last Sunday the Club had what was for most, a really new experience. We participated in a counter-protest against Chicago’s “10th Annual March for Life”. Many club members had been following what Stop Patriarchy was doing on line and in the pages of Revolution, including last summer’s Abortion Rights Freedom Ride. But this was the first time most had actually been on the ground confronting a huge crowd of rabid anti-abortion fanatics.

Most club members were taken aback by the size of the fascist crowd. There were thousands! (This according to the Chicago Tribune.) Many had been bused in from city and suburban Catholic churches.

Photo: Special to

The size of the fascist crowd and some lingering ambivalence about the slogan “Abortion on Demand, Without Apology,” led one club member, a Black man, to say initially, “I think I’ll just observe.” But as the confrontation developed and the raucous, rebellious young women from FURIE (see accompanying article) began marching and chanting, he and other club members grabbed hold of the big “Abortion on Demand, With No Apology” banner from Stop Patriarchy.

Club members passed out whistles and by the end of the protest many of 100 defiant and in-your-face abortion rights advocates were all blowing whistles.

One young Black woman from the Club was really charged off this whole experience saying it was fantastic! Another Black male member said he was so glad he went. Most club members were unable to watch the live stream from the Speakout in NYC, We have plans to do that soon and will be watching what happens in DC and SF with great anticipation.

Fight the Power Transform the People for Revolution! Unleash the Fury of Women As a Mighty Force for Revolution!




Revolution #371 January 26, 2015

Houston: Getting into it with people on abortion on demand and without apology and opposing slavery in every form

January 20, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


From readers:

On Saturday, January 17, a small group of people came out to watch the Stop Patriarchy National Speakout webcast at an art space in the heart of a Black community. The space was offered by an activist/artist who felt that it’s time for different groups to come together, especially to resist the war on women. Having listened intently to the testimony of women describing the horror of pre-Roe v. Wade illegal abortions, one college student got so upset by hearing of this suffering that she said that she had to leave. As she left, she said that she is planning to be out in Austin confronting the woman haters next weekend. Several others who attended also made plans to go to Austin.

Later in the weekend, revolutionaries went out broadly into the community, and called on people to take on the war on women as part of opposing slavery in every form and to join the contingent going to Austin next Saturday to fight for women's right to abortion and confront the pro-“lifers” as they rally for forced motherhood. As we got out the sampler edition of the compendium Break ALL the Chains! Bob Avakian on the Emancipation of Women and the Communist Revolution and the Revolution newspaper, a couple of wild debates broke out. Some of those we talked with not only supported the right to abortion, but also began arguing with their friends and family in its defense. 

We approached a group of people sitting outside watching a football game. As we ran down the need to confront the woman-hating “right to lifers,” an older man responded, “Wait a minute—I’m ‘right to life’! If a woman doesn’t want a baby she can give it up for adoption.” “What if she got raped?” replied a younger man. “Are you gonna make her carry that for 9 months?” The older man started to say, “I think...” when he was interrupted by the other, saying, “Really it doesn’t matter what you think. What about what the woman goes through?" Then a young woman said that “Women need to be in control of everything in their life.” Meanwhile a few feet away, the young woman’s mother kept repeating, “Nobody should tell a woman what she can do with her body, with her life. It’s her decision.” We got into how we need to resist, that the powers that be have made a lot of headway in restricting that right, and are determined to take it away, and then the old man came out with “Well I don’t think the government should tell women what to do.” 

Later on several others stopped by, who also supported women’s right to abortion and the conversation turned to where all this repression is coming from: why so many people of color are locked up, why the war on the people, why the war on women. A couple of people were thinking that it’s all about money and population control.

At a nearby housing project, we got into a heated debate with a young male college student and a young woman. When we first engaged them, she was adamantly against abortion—calling it murder, and he was sort of ambivalent, but said, “Well women can do whatever they wanna do.” They both agreed that if a woman gets raped then that is a different story: “She shouldn’t have to see that rapist every time she looks at her child,” so in that case, the woman said, abortion would be justified.

We posed that if it's okay in that case, why not in all cases? We went back and forth and got into, for example, how embryos, zygotes and fetuses are not children, so abortion is not murder. But when we posed to them the question, if these so-called right to lifers are so dedicated to preventing abortion because they claim it’s "baby-killing," why are they trying to outlaw birth control and sex education? The young woman said, “Oh no, I’m totally for birth control.”

But we insisted that she see the bigger picture and confront the contradiction: that if it were really about babies, then wouldn’t these “right to lifers” do everything possible to make sure to prevent unwanted pregnancies in the first place, like by supporting contraception? And the fact that they do just the opposite is an exposure that this has nothing to do with babies and everything to do with keeping women enslaved. This made her really think, and she had no answer. While she left the discussion still not convinced, it was clear that she was agonizing over all this. Meanwhile, the young guy really got the point—and how all the ways that women are oppressed in this society is about being relegated to things, not people, and he didn’t go for that. He said that he was considering going to protest the woman-haters.  

Another woman, maybe in her 30s, stopped in her tracks to talk: “Men expect you to cook, clean, give them sex, but then when you need child support, well...” and she was tired of it. She described how she had lost her baby to a rare heart defect when he was 6 weeks old. She said that if she had known that he was not going to survive, she would’ve had an abortion, and saved herself and her child all the pain and heartache of watching him suffer, just to see him die. And on top of all that, he may have been saved by very expensive surgery, which she could not afford, but still probably never would have gotten, because his time would have run out as he was stuck on a waiting list. Which says something about how not only are women treated like things in this society, but how the lives of the people mean nothing to those who run this system. She said she couldn't go to the protest, but took a bunch of flyers for her and her sister to get out, and wanted to find out more about this movement.  

A neighborhood pastor asked to get a copy of the compendium. He said that he didn’t know that there is a war being waged on women. He said that he is a little different from most people in the neighborhood because he is not absolutely against women having abortions, but he is against the government forcing women to not have choices. He had read a copy of Revolution a few weeks ago, and he said that there were a lot of points that he thought were important. He said that he knows that something has to be done about the police getting away with murdering the youth, and the suffering that people go through. He said that BA’s quote about how you can’t break all the chains except one (BAsics 3:22) made sense to him, but at the same time, he said he wasn’t sure about revolution.





Revolution #371 January 26, 2015

Bringing the Dialogue to the Sundance Film Festival

January 26, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | received this correspondence:

At Sundance film festivalPhoto: Special to

A team of revolutionaries is out at the Sundance Film Festival right now in Park City, Utah. The team is bringing word about the revolution, Bob Avakian, and the Dialogue on Revolution and Religion: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion with Bob Avakian and Cornel West to the tens of thousands of filmmakers, producers, actors, and filmgoers. This international festival showcases dozens of independent films coming out this year. We are meeting people in the streets, in the Q&A’s after the screenings, and everywhere we go. We are telling everyone about the upcoming release in March of the film of the Dialogue and asking people who work in the world of movies to watch the trailer and find the ways to get this out into the world, contributing to the funding, distribution and publicity campaign.

From a young revolutionary: “There’s interest—the anger that’s out in society around the police murders, the attacks on abortion—there are more people than usual here with a lot of thinking on the way society works, and many are responding to us.”

The festival’s founder, actor Robert Redford, announced at the opening press conference that the theme of Sundance this year is “Change”— a reflection of what’s breaking open across the country. It’s significant that the real revolution is here in the midst of this crackling atmosphere—finding many people who want to connect. Stay tuned.




Revolution #371 January 26, 2015

Record Heat... Threats to Ocean Life

The Accelerating Destruction of Our Planet, the Need for Urgent Transformation

January 26, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |



In the last few weeks, new and alarming scientific evidence was released about the ecological state of the planet. This information highlights the accelerating environmental crisis AND the urgent need to make radical, global transformations in how society functions.

2014: Warmest Year on Record

First, in early January, major scientific agencies reported that 2014 was the warmest year in recorded human history. 2014 surpassed the previous warmest year, 2010. The ten warmest years in recorded history have all happened since 1997.

Our planet’s climate is being transformed with increasingly devastating results. Polar ice and glaciers are melting at an accelerating rate, affecting essential ecosystems and changing climate. More severe storms, drought, wildfires, and other climatic changes have been set loose, causing great damage to the planet’s ecology and massive human suffering. And there are clear signs that this trend is accelerating and magnifying with potential for more dramatic shifts that could even call into question the future of humanity.

Above, time-lapse graph shows the increasing annual average temperature on Earth, starting in 1950 and ending in 2013.

The Earth is warming due to the unrelenting burning of fossil fuels, massive clearing away of forest for commercial purposes, and destructive patterns of agricultural production. All this is the result of the economic functioning and way of life produced by the capitalist-imperialist system that dominates life.

The burning of fossil fuels and other destructive practices produce massive amounts of carbon dioxide and other gases that are building up in the atmosphere. These “greenhouse” gases trap heat energy from the sun, causing the planet to warm. One recent scientific study indicated the oceans have been absorbing fully 90 percent of the increased heating on Earth and predicted it is likely that this heat will be eventually transferred to the atmosphere, further accelerating warming.

Other studies point to the danger of increasing levels of methane being released into the environment as ice melts, particularly in the northern regions. (See “The Methane Monster Roars” by Dahr Jamail.) Methane is an even more powerful greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. There is real danger that large amounts of methane being released from frozen forms can cause vastly accelerated and more dangerous warming and even climatic shifts from which there would be no returning, possibly for thousands of years.

And yet, instead of decisively moving away from and moving to end the use of fossil fuels—and drastically cutting greenhouse emissions—the big capitalist countries that dominate the planet are expanding the use of fossil fuels. It is no surprise that the decisions and plans coming out of United Nations climate conferences, including the one recently concluded in Lima, Peru, have been a complete disaster in meaningfully addressing this crisis.

Dangers to Ocean Life and Ecosystems

Just as the world was learning of 2014 being the warmest year on record, a new study appeared in Science magazine on animal loss in the world’s oceans. (See “Era of Intense Marine Wildlife Declines is Beginning, Scientists Say” at The study sought to learn from animal loss on the land to better predict how this might happen in the oceans—and how to prevent it.

The study says humans have “powerfully changed virtually all major marine ecosystems.” According to co-author Steve Palumbi of Stanford University, “Increasing industrial use of the oceans and the globalization of ocean exploitation threaten to damage the health of marine wildlife populations, making the situation in the oceans as grim as that on land.” The lead author of the study, Douglas J. McCauley from UC Santa Barbara, summarized, “We may be sitting on the precipice of a major extinction event” in ocean species.

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

Read the entire Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal) from the RCP at

The study documents the vast, destructive effects of over-fishing, destruction of ocean habitat, and climate change. In terms of marine (ocean and sea) animals: some species are contracting; some have become extinct in certain local regions; or become “ecologically extinct”—meaning their numbers have become so depleted that they can no longer perform functional roles within ecosystems. The study highlights the importance of the interaction of species, their interrelationships and interdependence within functioning, vibrant living systems, and how in some cases this is being eroded by human activity, causing impacts up and down the food chain.

Importantly, the Science magazine study makes the point that because the oceans are vast and less exploited historically than the land, the extinction of species has not yet gone as far in the oceans as on land—and so recovery is possible. The study suggests approaches for protecting and preserving marine environments and life and combating the impacts of climate change. Robert Warner, another author of the study, said, “The ocean’s future is yet to be determined. We can blunder forward and make the same mistakes in the sea that we made on land, or we can collectively chart a different and better future for our oceans.”

It is a timely warning. But, again, what is the response of the economic, political, and social system we live under? Drilling for oil in the Arctic... still using the oceans as dumping grounds... and continuing to heat up the planet. Far from “collectively charting a different and better future for our oceans”!

We May Be on the Verge of a “Sixth Extinction”

Already, many scientists say that we may have entered a “Sixth Extinction” of species on Earth. This refers to a period of mass die-off—such as what happened after an asteroid hit our planet some 65 million years ago and caused the end of the dinosaurs and many other species. Scientists speak in terms of another possible mass extinction of species and threats to others—but now due to over-harvesting of the oceans, destruction of wildlife habitat, pollution and degradation of ecosystems, and climate change. A recent “Living Planet” report from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) found that in 10,000 representative animal species there has been a decline in population of 52 percent since 1970. The WWF says, “In less than two human generations, population sizes of vertebrate species have dropped by half.”

Another World Is Possible

The destruction of the planet is not due to human activity in the abstract. It is primarily and overwhelmingly due to the workings and pattern of economic life engendered by the system of capitalism-imperialism. This system has a stranglehold on humanity and on the planet. It turns people’s labor into a source of profit; it turns the environment into commodities to be plundered and poured into production for profit. Under capitalism, there is no planning for the long-term interests of humanity or the environment. Decisions are not made with consideration for the importance, interconnectedness, and beauty of the natural world.

The capitalist-imperialist system interacts with the environment in an exploitative, shortsighted, and destructive way. It has already caused tremendous damage and it has already locked in much future damage.

Only the most radical revolution in human history—socialist-communist revolution that liberates human beings and ends the ravaging of the planet—can enable humanity to cope with the environmental crisis on the scale and with the urgency required. We need the type of economic functioning, the type of political structures, the type of society with human initiative and imagination that allows humanity to actually become the caretakers and protectors of the environment.

There is a program, a plan and a vision, and the needed organization and leadership, for such a society and world. It is concentrated in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal) as well as the special issue of Revolution on the environmental emergency and the way out and forward for humanity.

This won’t be easy. But this is our only chance of achieving a truly sustainable society—and beginning the process of restoring the ecosystems of the planet.

To those fighting to save the planet and searching for alternatives to this system: We encourage you to dig into this solution, and discuss and debate it with us and with others. And let’s work to make this vision and approach take hold in society, as we step up the struggle to put a stop to the destruction of the planet.




Revolution #371 January 26, 2015

Draft Call from the Stop Mass Incarceration Network



January 27, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Draft Call in Word format

The people have stood up. Beginning in August and continuing through the end of the year, all across the country, thousands and thousands of people took to the streets to stop the murder of Black and Latino people at the hands of the police. People blocked highways and bridges, marched through shopping malls, did die-ins everywhere, walked out from school, and shook this country to its core, opening the eyes of millions around the world to the brutal reality that time and time again police kill Black and Latino people with impunity. For many people, this was the first time they had ever marched and demonstrated. This outpouring was long past due and was a real advance in the people’s struggle to stop this horror.

Now we are at a crossroads: will the authorities succeed in suppressing our resistance, or will we go back on the offensive and bring even more massive waves of struggle to STOP the murder of Black and Latino people by the police?


On April 14, we will take our movement to STOP wanton police murder to a whole new level. NO SCHOOL! NO WORK! STOP BUSINESS AS USUAL!

On this day, thousands of students must walk out of school, take over buildings and go on strike at colleges and high schools nationwide. People must gather and march in cities all across the U.S. The normal routine of this society includes wanton police murder of Black and Latino people. Everyone must disrupt that normal routine.

Our demands are clear:

The business as usual of police killing our people and never being punished is a concentration of an overall program of mass incarceration and all its consequences that has tens of millions of people living their lives caught up in the criminal “injustice” system of this country. Will our righteous protest and the people’s determination to STOP this be suppressed with threats and empty promises? Will that business as usual continue? Or will we retake the initiative to lead, YES, millions back out into the streets, not stopping until the police murder of Black and Latino people stops? This is the challenge we face. All of us must act on April 14 to loudly declare we will not go back, stop the police murder of our people.

* * * * *

The Stop Mass Incarceration Network (SMIN) has issued this draft Call for a day of massive resistance all over the country on April 14. You are invited to participate in a national meeting to map out plans to build on the powerful, beautiful and very necessary outpourings of people all across the country calling for an end to the system putting its stamp of approval on police murdering people. This meeting will be held in Atlanta on February 7 & 8.

Contact us for more information: * * 347-979-7646




Revolution #371 January 26, 2015

Berkeley Law Faculty Statement Expresses "Despair and Outrage" About the Police Killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner

January 27, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


The following is a statement issued in December by members of the faculty and staff at the University of California, Berkeley, Law School (also known as Boalt Hall). The full list of signatories and a slide show of some of the signers with signs like "I Can't Breathe" and "Black Lives Matter," is at the Berkeley Law School web site.

As members of the Berkeley Law faculty and staff, we write to express our despair and outrage about the killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner in Missouri and New York. These cases again exposed the failure of the criminal justice system to value Black lives. The Brown and Garner cases have undermined our trust as legal scholars, advocates, and educators in the fundamental fairness of our legal system. We share with our students the struggle to reconcile the constitutional values that we teach in the classroom with the reality that race determines how communities of color experience our legal system. We support the members of our community who are exercising their constitutional right to free speech through protest and peaceful civil disobedience. We call on the United States Department of Justice and other authorities to investigate further. As a community of legal scholars and advocates, we commit to addressing these issues in the days to come.

Click to open image in separate window




Revolution #371 January 26, 2015

Garth Brooks, Ferguson, and Getting Free

January 27, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader

I’m writing to share some notes and thoughts on what was represented by country music performer Garth Brooks’ decision to cancel appearances all over mainstream media in the wake of the Grand Jury in Ferguson refusing to indict the cop who murdered Michael Brown, and the wave of protests that erupted. Explaining why on Facebook, Brooks posted: “To spend the day promoting our stuff like nothing was wrong seemed distasteful to me.”

A bit of context for those who don’t follow him: Garth Brooks is by far the best selling country music artist of all time. He is the second best-selling solo albums artist in the United States (ahead of Elvis Presley), and his current tour—his first in over a decade—is phenomenally successful—potentially the largest grossing tour of any musician. The media appearances he canceled were to promote the tour, and his new album, and it's no small deal to skip the Tonight Show when you’ve got a world tour and album dropping.

I’m not breaking any new ground in analyzing popular culture to note that, while there is a range of trends and styles and scenes within country music, it is overwhelming music speaking to, listened to, and performed by—white people. Which provides the context for all the shit that hit the fan when he cancelled these appearances—using the term “civil unrest” to describe the protests (instead of more hostile terms).

Reactions in social media included vicious pro-cop fury aimed at Garth Brooks. No need to repeat any of that hate here, but it was serious and fascist. Then there was anguished disagreement from people who have bought the brainwash about Black people in general and lies and slanders about Michael Brown specifically (“Respectfully, Mr. Brooks, it is not civil unrest. It is rioting, looting and disruption of commerce and travel. Mr. Brown was a strong arm robber, preying on weaker folks and businesses. He attacked a police officer who was lawfully doing his job.”).

And, then there were responses, typified by: “Garth, if everybody listened to and lived by ‘We Shall Be Free’ and ‘People Lovin’ People’ the world would be so much better off. Love ya, brother!”

“People Loving People” is a song Garth Brooks released coinciding with his current world tour. If you search YouTube for “Garth Brooks People Loving People live AMA” you can watch one of the various live versions there. The message and spirit of the song is captured in the lines:

We fear what we don’t understand
And we’ve been scared since time began
All the colors and the cultures circle ‘round us on a spindle
It’s a complicated riddle, the solution is so simple...
It’s people loving people
That’s the enemy of everything’s that’s evil

The other Garth Brooks song the Facebook post refers to, “We Shall Be Free,” was co-written by Garth Brooks in response to the Los Angeles rebellion in 1992 after the police who brutally beat Rodney King within an inch of his life were exonerated by the legal system:

When the last child cries for a crust of bread
When the last man dies for just words that he said
When there’s shelter over the poorest head
We shall be free

When the last thing we notice is the color of skin
And the first thing we look for is the beauty within
When the skies and the oceans are clean again
Then we shall be free

(My favorite version of the song is the cover done by Sam Moore on his album “Overnight Sensation” with Paul Rogers). “We Shall Be Free,” also, interestingly—especially for its time (1992)—includes the line “When we’re free to love anyone we choose....” A call for equality and respect for same-sex relationships. It is only in the last few months that, for the first time, successful male country artists have come out as gay.

* * *

There is a sharp and sharpening polarization in society—a great chasm in public opinion—in the wake of Ferguson. When the oppressed rose up, they provoked people very broadly—and not just Black people—to confront and challenge white supremacy and police brutality. And on the other side of the spectrum, frenzied fascists from “rank and file” NYPD pigs staged protests against the mayor, and white racists rushed to gun stores, egged on by fascist “mainstream” media like Fox News.

In this context, Garth Brooks refused to feed the frenzy of racist hate and took a good stand—one that everyone who knew the whole story understood as being at least in some ways sympathetic to those rising up. Good for him. We should have his back on this.

And here’s a challenge to Garth Brooks, and those who relate to his music: If you believe in a world where nobody goes hungry, where nobody is killed “for just words that he said,” and where “the last thing we notice is the color of skin,” then go where this understanding takes you. Don’t back down, and don’t shy away from coming to grips with what it will take to make that happen, no matter how far out of your comfort zone that takes you. And make a big part of that experience.

* * *

Back in the sixties, I wasn’t the only white suburban youth listening to (not just, but yes) country music, with a poster of Black Panther leader Huey Newton on my wall. Which sheds light on the basis for a revolution, and the work to do to further repolarize broad sections of society right now around a question (the oppression of Black people) that goes to the heart of what this country is all about. And to intensify work for an actual revolution. The more the real revolution becomes a factor on the scene, the more the revolution can set terms in society as a whole, and be a pole of attraction for the best coming forward from all over including what might seem to be surprising places.




Revolution #371 January 26, 2015

Learning another way to RESPOND...
Flash Mob Workshop: "We Can't Breathe"

January 27, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Photos: Li Onesto/

A very significant exhibit is now at Smack Mellon gallery in Brooklyn, New York, from January 17 to February 22. RESPOND, a display of artistic answers to the epidemic of police murder and the refusal of the government to prosecute the killers. The exhibit is a significant and important event. It has been reviewed and discussed in and beyond the art world, including in articles in the New York Times and the British Guardian. (See “RESPOND: Exhibit at Smack Mellon Gallery, Brooklyn, NY.”)

In conjunction this exhibit, Smack Mellon is hosting a series of events, including film and video screenings, dance performances, poetry readings, an interactive theatre art making session, and a self defense workshop/performance.

On Thursday, February 19 at 7 pm there will be a conversation with Noche Diaz and Jamel Mims about the Dialogue between Cornel West and Bob Avakian on “Revolution & Religion.” (Click here for more info on that workshop.)

On January 24, a Performance Protest Workshop titled, “We Can’t Breathe” was led by Shamirrah Hardin, together with Chazz Giovanni, Will Ferdinand, and Jamel Mims in collaboration with the Stop Mass Incarceration Network (SMIN). In early December 2014, SMIN hosted a meeting to plan the “Week of Outrage” in response to the numerous incidents of police brutality and police murder of Black and brown people in this country. As a part of this meeting, several artists came together to plan artist-led actions that would occur during the week. The group planned a big flash mob event that took place in Grand Central Station and an open mic that took place at Revolution Books. Since then, Shamirrah Hardin, a main organizer of these actions, has been using the performing arts in various settings as a form of protest.

The workshop taught people the simple flash mob movements: Walking back and forth with both hands wrapped around the neck symbolizing the chokehold used by an NYPD cop to kill Eric Garner; the “Hands Up” motion, symbolizing the stance of Michael Brown before he was killed by a cop in Ferguson; and the head going back, grasping for air with the last words of Eric Garner, “I can’t breathe... I can’t breathe.”

Gloria Leiva, whose son Dante Pomar was killed by the NYPD on July 29, 2004, participated in the workshop and told Revolution, “The idea of using art performance in public spaces to protest the ills of society is great. A show will always make more people to stop and listen to what the artists are communicating. In this way perhaps it will inspire individuals to get involved in the movement to put an end to the unjust practice of allowing police officers to murder our children (especially Black and Latino) without facing any punishment or consequences.”

People left looking forward. The Stop Mass Incarceration Network encouraged people to attend a February meeting in Atlanta to plan for a national day of NO BUSINESS AS USUAL on April 14. After the workshop, some people got together to plan more protest performance events including one on Wednesday, January 28: Meet at Times Square, SE corner of 42nd Street and 7th Avenue at 6:45 pm; at 7 pm people will go underground into the subway, Shamirrah will teach people the movements and the group will do the flash mob performance where the murals are.




Revolution #371 January 26, 2015

The Art of the Movement

January 27, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


The following essay was written by an activist with the Stop Mass Incarceration Network and the mother of a Black youth who has been criminalized and put behind bars by mass incarceration. She wrote this after going to the RESPOND art show at the Smack Mellon gallery and attending the Performance Workshop on January 24.


Art is a powerful tool. Throughout history, art has been an expression of human experiences and conditions. It appears that mankind discovered early on that they could communicate messages and express thoughts and feelings on cave walls when words had not yet been formed or would not do to fully convey these things. Somehow our ancestors must have instinctively known that through this form of communication, they were bridging a means of understanding one another, of sharing ideas and perhaps they even knew that it would be a method in which to memorialize their history. They must have felt that communication with each other was key to survival and passing these things down was just as essential to this survival. Artistic expression has always been an aid in which we have learned about ourselves, our past and our evolution as human beings. It is, therefore, fitting that this generation also would seek to use art as an important instrument to express their ideas, concerns and as outreach for solutions on the issues affecting them. Art serves as a powerful expression in its ability to reach and move so many people. Art has been and still is a tool in which images create a trajectory that can charge this movement which has galvanized a nation of people to call for reforms towards stopping the mass incarceration and police brutality and murder against young men of color and the poor in general.

Yesterday, in the Smack Mellon Gallery, a group of conscientious, dedicated and vigilant individuals braved the cold winter elements to come together to have a very spirited and inspiring workshop and discussion about the on-going current events of police brutality against the masses that appear to be spiraling out of control. Against the backdrop of a wall dedicated by various artists were depictions of people that have fallen victim to police killings and brutality— serving as influence and reminder of why these discussions and this movement must continue in spite of efforts to suppress it and our voices. The moving images and pictures of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Martin Luther King, Jr, and police armed against the citizenry spoke volumes and stirred powerful emotions in this serene, cool and tranquil space.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then these works of art are worth millions in their ability to capture the heart, the sensibility and consciousness of even those human beings who might want to turn a blind eye to the inhumane conditions we are now experiencing that our words may not be enough to convey. 

As I stood there with my seven-year-old granddaughter gently trying to explain to her what these images were about, I was so cognizant of our brutal history depicted on this wall. But I was also filled with a pride and determination to be part of this history with this roomful of people who will be the cause for change in this movement. I was reminded of the need our ancestors had expressed in art to communicate and pass down our much needed message to bridge an understanding essential to our survival.




Revolution #371 January 26, 2015

On the Justice Department “Leak” That Michael Brown’s Killer Will NOT Be Prosecuted on Civil Rights Charges Either...

Yes, the WHOLE Damn System IS Guilty as Hell!

January 29, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader

Assuming the reports that have been recently published that no charges will be filed by the (in)Justice Department against Darren Wilson for violating Michael Brown’s civil rights prove to be accurate, this is not at all surprising. But the lack of surprise does not remotely diminish the outrage represented by such a decision. I think it is important to recognize this as a compounding, reinforcement, and escalation of the original outrages of the murder of Michael Brown and the Ferguson grand jury’s subsequent decision not to indict Darren Wilson for that murder. In other words, I do not think the reaction to this news should be "ho hum, what else did you expect?"

This is the system, and ruling class, giving a further green light to genocide against Black people at the hands of the police. It is an unmistakable middle finger to the family and loved ones of Michael Brown, to all those who have defiantly and courageously demanded justice for him over the last few months and who have stood up against police murder and brutality more broadly. This apparent decision not to file federal charges against Darren Wilson is an attempt to demoralize the masses and to convince them that it did—and does—no good to raise their heads, stand up, and demand justice, an attempt to get people to just accept a towering crime and injustice and "move on," and likely also an attempt to convince at least some among the tens of thousands of people who took to the streets directly—and the many others who supported and were inspired by these freedom fighters—to question whether people were right to stand up and demand justice. This cannot be allowed to get over on people.  

At the same time, this latest decision not to file charges is also a glaring exposure of something that there is a heightened urgency—and a heightened basis—to lead people to understand: The fact that, yes, there really is a whole system at work here, and that whole damn system is guilty as hell. The question needs to be directly, and explicitly, posed to people: If the problem were just a question of "bad apples," of "poor training," or the "decline of community policing," then how do you explain not only the Ferguson grand jury and the "prosecutor" in the Darren Wilson case, but now the federal Justice Department letting Darren Wilson walk free? And how do you explain the fact that the major media in this country are working repeatedly to confuse, disorient, and pacify people, and to present what is indisputably the police killing of yet another unarmed Black youth as a supposedly "complex" matter of "dueling narratives"? And how do you explain the fact that all of the above happens in just about EVERY ONE of the thousands of cases of Black and Latino people murdered by the police? Yes, there IS a whole damn system at work here, and that system doesn’t need to be "fixed," it needs to be gotten rid of through revolution at the earliest possible time. Now, more than ever, people urgently need to know—and be led to understand—this basic reality.

In the immediate aftermath of the murder of Michael Brown and ever since, the masses were told—as they always are by this system after its police murder the masses—to "let the system work," and to channel their efforts into demanding a federal investigation. Eric Holder personally came to Ferguson and did his "everybody calm down" and "I feel your pain" routine.  

To state an obvious and very heartening fact: The system’s efforts to get people to calm down and go home, and their calls to "be patient" and "wait for the system to work" did not get over this time! Still, the point needs to be emphasized: This latest decision is exactly what "the Justice Department intervening" looks like. Look how that turned out. No, seriously! People need to confront this reality and its implications. And then people need to confront a further question: Is the Michael Brown case an exception in this regard? Or is this, in fact, the rule? Let’s get real here.

Right now is a really critical juncture in the struggle against police murder and mass incarceration, and the Justice Department refusal to bring charges only further highlights the significance of this juncture. To anyone wondering whether it makes a difference that people have taken to the streets and stood up against police brutality and murder, ask yourself this question: If people standing up didn’t—and doesn’t—make a difference, then why have the powers‑that‑be felt compelled to put so much effort and energy into repressing, attacking, diverting, distracting and disorienting people in the wake of this resistance? Clearly, the powers‑that‑be don’t think it makes no difference when the people stand up! Otherwise, they wouldn’t be desperately trying so many different methods to suppress and divert this struggle.

The ruling class will continue to relentlessly look for and attempt a whole gamut of ways to get people to calm down, back down, give up, and move on from this struggle for justice. We have seen that movie before, whenever there is righteous struggle that stands up to the system’s crimes and exposes its illegitimacy, and especially when this happens in the sustained, determined, widespread and defiant way that we have seen these past few months. But, again, it is critical that these efforts on the part of the ruling class to get everybody to "move on" and go back to business as usual not succeed, and that they instead be met with determined political resistance.

Unless someone wants to argue that the outrages and horrors that originally propelled people into the streets have somehow been addressed, or that justice has somehow been served, the only moral and rational conclusion is that not only must the resistance witnessed in the past few months not die down, it must grow deeper, broader, stronger, more defiant, and more determined to get to the real root of the horrors being fought against.