Revolution #414, November 23, 2015 (

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

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Revolution #414 November 23, 2015

Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

Download PDF for print. Can be printed 1-sided with the statement, or 2-sided wih statement, ads and room for local address.


November 12, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Break All the Chains!

Break ALL the Chains!
Bob Avakian on the Emancipation of Women and the Communist Revolution

Sampler Edition | Full Work

BA Speaks

* Writing in the New York Times “Book Review” section (Sunday, October 25, 2015), speaking about the convention in 1787 that “led to the creation of the United States Constitution,” Robert E. Rubin, former Secretary of the Treasury under Bill Clinton, actually says the following:

“Disagreements about the extent of federal power and the design of our democratic institutions were resolved through long arguments and, ultimately, principled compromises.” (Emphasis added)

Principled compromises?! The founding of this country on the basis of institutionalizing slaveryofficially establishing the “right” to own slaves, and the status of slaves as less than human, in its founding Constitution—that is a “principled compromise” in the eyes of a present-day representative and functionary of the ruling class of this country. And the fact is that no major politician and no other significant representative of this ruling class will, or can, denounce this country, since its very founding, and denounce its “founders,” in the terms in which they deserve to be denounced: monstrously criminal. If founding a country on the basis of institutionalizing slavery is not a monstrous crime, what is? The fact that no significant representative and functionary of this system, in this country, can recognize and acknowledge this as a monstrous crime—and instead they all uphold as “great men” those, like Thomas Jefferson, who founded a country on the basis of this monstrous crime, and who perpetuated this crime for generations—that gets to the very core of what this system is all about and why there is a great need to put an end to this system at the earliest possible time, and replace it with a system that has no need, no place, and no apology for slavery in any form.


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* Unbelievable as it may seem, in the 21st century there are still people—including people in positions of power and authority—who are determined to force women to bear children, regardless of the situation, the feelings, and the better judgment of those women themselves. That is a way of enslaving women to the dictates of an oppressive male supremacist, patriarchal system; and that is what the cruel fanatics who are determined to deny women the right to abortion are really all about.


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* On Elections: Choosing between oppressive rulers will not stop them from ruling over and oppressing you and committing horrific crimes against humanity. This is true of all the major presidential candidates, of both the Republican and Democratic parties, and it will be true of anyone who becomes president, or occupies any major political office, under this system. What supporting these people does accomplish is making you complicit with these crimes.





Revolution #414 November 23, 2015

A Terrorist Attack in Paris, a World of Horrors, and the NEED FOR ANOTHER WAY

November 15, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


On November 13, simultaneous attacks across Paris took the lives of at least 129 people. ISIS—the reactionary armed Islamist movement now dominating parts of Syria and Iraq—has apparently taken “credit” for these attacks. The victims were normal everyday people. They were eating in cafes, attending a soccer game, or walking down the street. They were people of all walks of life, from France and around the world. The gruesome and arbitrary nature of the killing—including the massacre of 89 people trapped in a concert hall where a rock band was playing—could only be intended to create an atmosphere of societal chaos and fear. And the attack was clearly undertaken with knowledge that it would be invoked by France and the U.S. to supposedly justify new rounds of repression and war. The cruel horror of the Paris attacks should be unequivocally denounced.

At the same time, the French president declared this an “act of war” and he would hit back with a “merciless” response. We should be clear. This threat from France—and the ways in which this attack has taken over the airwaves and political life in the U.S. since it was carried out—are very ominous. This almost certainly means one thing: more war and military attacks in the Middle East coming from France, the other European powers, and the U.S. itself, taking even more lives and creating all that many more refugees to add to the literally millions now desperately seeking to survive, who often lose their lives in the process.

And so the nightmarish dynamic which billions of people today find themselves locked in intensifies and escalates. The world cries out for another way. To get that other way, we have to understand first of all the root causes of the dynamic that IS going on.

A WORLD of Horrors

Again, we should be clear: The attack in Paris was aimed at advancing a reactionary agenda by spreading terror. It was cruel and unjust and horrific.

Downloadable PDF of this statement for print

As was the U.S. bombing of a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Afghanistan on October 3—a conscious act of state-sponsored terrorism—that destroyed a desperately needed hospital, and murdered a dozen courageous doctors along with volunteers from around the world and Afghan patients. Since 2001, the U.S. invasion and occupation of Afghanistan has led to the death of tens of thousands of civilians. And the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq—which was the crucible in which ISIS formed and arose—directly killed many tens of thousands and “indirectly” caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands more.

As was the terrorist bombing, for which ISIS took credit, on a poor Shi’a neighborhood in Beirut, Lebanon, on November 12. It targeted a community where Islamic forces allied with the Syrian government, Iran, and Russia have a base of support—but the bombs were aimed at and killed dozens of civilians. The multisided war between contending reactionary powers and forces in Syria has resulted in 250,000 deaths, and over 12 million people have been driven from their homes into refugee camps or the dangerous trek to persecution and concentration camps in Europe.

As was the bombing of a wedding party in Yemen on October 8 by the U.S. armed and backed Saudi regime. This was the second time in a month that Saudi Arabian fighter jets rained death on a wedding party in Yemen—this time killing 30 people. In late September, Saudi rockets hit another wedding party in Yemen, killing 130 people. The Saudi reign of terror is aimed at the civilian population in areas where anti-Saudi forces are in control. And the Saudis have waged war since the summer in Yemen, using U.S.-supplied cluster bombs—a weapon outlawed in most parts of the world—to slaughter several thousand civilians, including hundreds of children.

This whole nightmarish inhuman cycle must be stopped.

Two Reactionary Poles of Oppression

Bringing Forward Another Way

Bringing Foward Another Way is an edited version of a talk by Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, to a group of Party supporters, in 2006. It is must reading for a serious understanding of what the U.S. "war on terror" is really about and how to bring forward a positive force in the world in opposition to both Western imperialism and Islamic Jihad.

Download PDF

The rulers of the U.S. portray themselves as the global “good guys” in all this. They cover over the fact that their whole system can only function and proceed through the bitter, grinding exploitation of literally billions of people, through the plunder of all of nature, and through the oppression of whole peoples and of women, half of humanity. They insist that people forget the foundations of this empire in genocide and slavery, and endless wars for empire around the world.

The Islamic fundamentalists like ISIS portray themselves as the only opposition to this. Their opposition is one of small-time oppressors hungering to be big time ones. The society they enforce is one of brutal oppression of women and the violent enforcement of ignorance and superstition. Nobody who has an ounce of justice in their heart should have anything to do with this stuff and in fact should oppose it, strongly. Humanity is actually capable of something much greater: a new society, without exploitation or oppression.

As we say on our website and in our newspaper, all the time:

“It is this system that has got us in the situation we’re in today, and keeps us there. And it is through revolution to get rid of this system that we ourselves can bring a much better system into being. The ultimate goal of this revolution is communism: A world where people work and struggle together for the common good...Where everyone contributes whatever they can to society and gets back what they need to live a life worthy of human beings...Where there are no more divisions among people in which some rule over and oppress others, robbing them not only of the means to a decent life but also of knowledge and a means for really understanding, and acting to change, the world.

“This revolution is both necessary and possible.”

And, as we also say, “Because of Bob Avakian and the work he has done over several decades, summing up the positive and negative experience of the communist revolution so far, and drawing from a broad range of human experience, there is a new synthesis of communism that has been brought forward—there really is a viable vision and strategy for a radically new, and much better, society and world, and there is the crucial leadership that is needed to carry forward the struggle toward that goal.”

If you are reading this, if you found yourself agonizing over what happened in Paris—or what happened before that in Kunduz or Gaza last year or anywhere of dozens and hundreds of other places—you need to dig into this. This really IS a way out of the madness, and everyone owes it to themselves, to their fellow humans, and to the future to really engage this.

At the same time, right now, this cycle of terror and horror must be broken through. Attacks like the one in Paris are unconscionable and must be denounced. But we must not enlist in, but resist our rulers’ moves to take advantage of these attacks to justify even worse ones. We must resist when they move to implement more repression (which they claim will “keep us safe” but actually ratchets up the problem). We must resist when they try to escalate their invasions, drone attacks, and bombings. Resist when they whip up patriotism and prejudice, including ugly attacks on immigrants. To remain silent and complicit in all this is to contribute to the whole cycle and to strengthen both sides in the reactionary clash of the West vs. Jihad.

In the absence of a positive, liberating alternative, and in the absence of determined and visible opposition in “the West,” the crimes of the U.S. drive people into the arms of reactionary Jihad. What is needed—and what is morally right—is visible, determined opposition to the crimes of “our government” on the part of those of us in the U.S., France, and other imperialist countries. Breaking through to another world, and breaking out of the current vicious cycle requires that people around the world see that the rulers do not speak for us. And that we stand with the interests of humanity.





Revolution #414 November 23, 2015

A Nightmarish Dynamic That Imprisons Humanity... and the Real Alternative

From the Writings and Talks of Bob Avakian:

The "Two Outmodeds" and Bringing Forward Another Way

November 23, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


The November 13 terrorist attacks in Paris were cruel and unjust. The reactionary armed Islamist movement ISIS claimed credit for terrorist acts that took the lives of at least 129 everyday people going about their normal routines. In short order, the French government imposed a state of emergency—threatening more state terror and chauvinist violence directed at immigrant communities, as well as broad assaults on basic rights. France also launched massive air strikes on Syria. Meanwhile, other Western imperialist powers, particularly the U.S., are threatening new military action in the Middle East. All of which will only lead to more death and destruction, more uprooting of oppressed humanity in a region that has endured so much suffering at the hands of imperialism and its local enforcers. and to more terrorist acts. (See “A Terrorist Attack in Paris, A World of Horrors, and the NEED FOR ANOTHER WAY” at

Step back. Throughout the world, two forces contend. Neither has a real answer—an emancipatory answer—to the agonizing, killing, planet-destroying problems confronting humanity. On the one side are the imperialists who dominate the world: exploiting billions, controlling economic lifelines and global politics, and deploying overwhelming military power to terrorize people into submitting to this. On the other side is a form of reactionary, religious, woman-hating fanaticism. From Nigeria to Pakistan, to Syria and Iraq, to Indonesia and beyond, this fanatical Islam poses as an alternative to imperialism but is in actuality rooted in the same horizons of domination and exploitation.

All this is grotesquely magnified by the fact that for most people, these are the only alternatives that they know about right now.

Over the last few decades, Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, has produced deep, scientific, and indispensable analysis of this deadly dynamic shaping world events and locking people into the world as it is. As he incisively frames it:

What we see in contention here with Jihad on the one hand and McWorld/McCrusade on the other hand, are historically outmoded strata among colonized and oppressed humanity up against historically outmoded ruling strata of the imperialist system. These two reactionary poles reinforce each other, even while opposing each other. If you side with either of these “outmodeds,” you end up strengthening both.

While this is a very important formulation and is crucial to understanding much of the dynamics driving things in the world in this period, at the same time we do have to be clear about which of these “historically outmodeds” has done the greater damage and poses the greater threat to humanity. It is the historically outmoded ruling strata of the imperialist system, and in particular the U.S. imperialists.

(BAsics 1:28)

The people and the planet need to break out of this life-destroying, suffocating, and intolerable dynamic. This is possible because the underlying roots of this horrific contention—with neither side representing a way out—provides the basis for a radically better way forward for humanity. But, what is that way? Bob Avakian has developed the framework and vision for a truly liberating way that human society could be—and the strategy and orientation for making an actual revolution that can achieve this.

This selection from the writings and talks of Bob Avakian provides essential and crucial understanding of what is going on in the world, why the interests of humanity lie completely outside of and opposed to these “alternatives,” and how humanity can break the vise-grip of this vicious dynamic... and break through to a whole new world. We encourage people to study and spread this material. The works listed here are just a partial list of the work that BA has done on this question. will soon post a full list of all the work he has done on this crucial dynamic.


[1] Bringing Forward Another Way (2006)

Dig into this groundbreaking analysis for understanding the global phenomenon of the clash between Islamic fundamentalism and imperialism, with the U.S. as the top dog, and the political-ideological orientation for developing the revolutionary pole in today’s world. Written during the George W. Bush years, this has tremendous relevance today. The whole text deserves careful study.

Excerpts from this talk were published separately, and here we list two that can serve as a quick reference. However, this world-shaping deadly dynamic demands a full reading of Bringing Forward Another Way by Bob Avakian, available in full here.

* More on the “Two Historically Outmodeds”—Western imperialism and religious fundamentalism—the need to oppose both; why imperialism does the greater damage and is the greater threat to humanity; and why the “war on terror” is in essence a war for empire.

* “An Unequaled Barbarity”—America is not the good guy in the world, and American lives are not more important than other people’s lives. When you recognize the horrors committed by the system, you must act accordingly.

[2] Why We’re in the Situation We’re in Today...And What to Do About It: A Thoroughly Rotten System and the Need for Revolution (2006)

This landmark and engaging audio of a talk by BA presents a sweeping overview of changes in the world since World War 2, including the rise of religious fundamentalism in the Middle East and the U.S.; as well as the international impact of the defeat of the first socialist revolutions, and the way forward today through revolution. Full audio available here.

[3] From Making Revolution and Emancipating Humanity (2007); “Part 2: Everything We’re Doing is About Revolution. Heightened Parasitism and the “Two Outmodeds”

[4] From Away With All Gods! Unchaining the Mind and Radically Changing the World (2008)

* Why is Religious Fundamentalism Growing in Today’s World?
How the vast economic and demographic changes spurred by imperialist globalization have contributed to the current growth of religious fundamentalism; the role of political-ideological factors, including imperialist undermining of secular regimes in the Middle East in the 1950s and 1960s; and especially the far-reaching consequences of the defeat of genuine socialist revolution in China in 1976.

* Religious Fundamentalism, Imperialism, and the “War on Terror”
Refuting the argument that there is something particularly evil and dangerous about Islamic fundamentalism compared with Christian fascism and other varieties of religious fundamentalism.

[5] From the compilation Break ALL the Chains! Bob Avakian on the Emancipation of Women. Entire compilation available here.

*Imperialist Hypocrisy and the Taliban Oppression (2004)
"...These different forms and manifestations of degrading and subjugating women are "mirror opposites" and are all part of the overall oppression of women in the imperialist-dominated world today."

*The Qu’ran, Islam, and the Oppression of Women (1998)
Bob Avakian answers a letter from a reader that argues that Islam provides safety and freedom for women in the oppressed countries.

[6] Quotes from BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian

Focusing on internationalism and communist revolution as a worldwide process.


All the works above, except for Away With All Gods! Unchaining the Mind and Radically Changing the World, are available online at

Away With All Gods! is available in print and e-book editions and can be ordered from the publisher, Insight Press.







Revolution #414 November 23, 2015

From A World to Win News Service:

The Paris Attacks and the French State Reaction: Murderers All

November 23, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


French police are stationed outside the Great Mosque of Paris.
Before the Paris attacks, the French government had already begun to adopt sweeping new government powers in the name of combating Islamist terrorism. After the bombing, 300 police were assigned to conduct home invasions without search warrants over two nights. Parents, siblings and other family members of people suspected of implication in the attacks were jailed without charges. Here, as part of the same crackdown, police are stationed outside the Great Mosque of Paris. (AP photo)

November 17, 2015. A World to Win News Service. The November 13 bombings and shootings in Paris murdered 129 innocent people. Many of them in their twenties and thirties, they happened to be attending a rock concert, eating out in a lively neighbourhood, watching football in a sports bar or just walking by. The attacks took lives at random, devastating families irreparably and leaving most ordinary French people in pain and profound shock.

The attacks were part of a wave of deliberate massacres of civilians claimed by Daesh (Islamic State), including blasts that cut down dozens of people in a Shia neighbourhood in Beirut just the day before, and the blowing up of a Russian airliner with 224 tourists aboard over Egypt’s Sinai desert in October. These were all acts of murder, though on a much smaller scale than the Western powers, France among them, have inflicted on the peoples of the world for more than a century, in the Middle East and elsewhere. Need we mention as many as a million victims of France’s war to prevent Algerian independence (1952-62)?

Almost immediately, French President Francois Hollande declared war. He stated that that his country faced not just attacks by individuals as it has in the past, but now “a terrorist army”. “We are at war,” he told the French parliament a few days after the Paris attack, when it met to give him wartime powers. He claimed this was self-defence, although his government had stepped up military operations in Syria—surveillance flights, air strikes and, according to Le Monde, special forces—in the weeks and days before the Paris killings.

If this is war, it is an unjust war between reactionary forces equally disdainful of human life, neither of them less deliberately and consciously cruel in the pursuit of reactionary political objectives. Supporting either side will only worsen the dynamic between two unacceptable alternatives. People need to step forward and politically oppose both sides and all their horrors and work to break free of this ghastly logic.

Daesh poses itself as the only force that can challenge the power, ideology and hypocrisy of the imperialist ruling classes of the handful of countries that control or seek to control so many nations and bring so much misery to so many people. They mount this challenge inspired by a reactionary ideology and vision of society that would bring to power rising new exploiters and thwarted old ones. The goal of their jihad is to preserve, sanctify and systematize existing forms of oppression of the people in the Middle East and elsewhere, including the supremacy of men over women, a subjugation that persists in old and new forms throughout all of today’s world, along with other oppressive social divisions that crush the lives and potentials of whole populations. Thousands of youth from France and elsewhere have joined their ranks in Syria and other countries because they believe Islamism offers them a future denied them in their societies. Some of them are said to have been involved in the Paris attacks.

France has been deeply involved in Syria since the First World War was fought to redivide the world among the imperialist powers. Even before that war was over, the 1916 Sykes-Picot agreement split the Ottoman Empire’s possessions between Britain and France. France tore Syria apart to create the state of Lebanon, basing itself on its allies among the Christian minority there, and more generally worked to exacerbate religious and ethnic contradictions. The Daesh communiqué issued after the Paris massacres specifically called France “the guardian of the Sykes-Picot temple,” meaning not only the old colonial order but the region’s economic and political subjugation that has persisted and in some ways intensified.

Bringing Forward Another Way

Bringing Foward Another Way is an edited version of a talk by Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, to a group of Party supporters, in 2006. It is must reading for a serious understanding of what the U.S. "war on terror" is really about and how to bring forward a positive force in the world in opposition to both Western imperialism and Islamic Jihad.

Download PDF

France has sought to advance its interests in Syria and the region in many ways over the years, sometimes in concert with other powers such as the U.S. and often in rivalry with them. Probably more than any other Western power, France has historic ties and influence among sectors of the Syrian ruling class, once with the Assad family and now among leading regime defectors portrayed as the “moderate” (pro-Western) opposition. Ironically, it was France, not the U.S., which was most eager to open a bombing campaign against the Assad regime in 2013. Since then, with the U.S. and then Russia conducting their operations in Syria under the banner of confronting Daesh, French President Hollande has seen an increasing need to do the same, this time in the name of opposing not Assad but Daesh. The tactics, manoeuvres and justifications vary, but the imperialist interests remain the same—he who does not have armed forces involved is not going to sit at the table when the spoils are divided.

It should be understood that what France has and hopes to do in Syria is no different from what it has been doing with its 3,500 troops in Chad, Mali and elsewhere in former French colonies in Western and Central Africa: they are not looking to re-establish colonial setups that are no longer possible or necessarily desirable from the point of view of French imperialism, but they are working to bring peoples more tightly into the networks of capital accumulation in Paris and keeping imperialist rivals at bay.

Just as Hollande had already stepped up French operations in Syria before the Paris attacks, his government had already begun to adopt sweeping new government powers in the name of combating Islamist terrorism. These powers were also directed at France’s considerable population of immigrant origin, largely from predominantly Muslim countries that were once French colonies and remain within its sphere of influence. These repressive measures range from legislation allowing the political police to operate more freely of judicial oversight (not heralding new surveillance practices but giving them a more solid legal cover) to banning tinted glass in cars (justified as necessary for police to see whether drivers are texting or wearing seatbelts, but also, of course, allowing them to more easily spot people’s ethnicity).

After the attacks, Hollande declared a state of emergency that allowed almost 300 police to conduct home invasions without search warrants over two nights. Parents, siblings and other family members of people suspected of implication in the attacks were jailed without charges—an act considered revenge and hostage-taking when carried out by some other countries.

In fact, as French journalists have pointed out, that hypocritical slogan “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity” has been drowned out by the singing of the national anthem, La Marseillaise, with emphasis on the verse, “Citizens, to arms.” Unlike after the Charlie Hebdo massacres last January, there are fewer warnings from within the establishment against confusing Islamists with people of Islamic backgrounds. The keynote in Hollande’s discourse is that the state will be “merciless” abroad and at home.

Not coincidently, Hollande has taken up the far right National Front proposal to give the government the power to strip even French-born people (meaning from immigrant backgrounds) of their citizenship. He confined the threat to people holding dual nationality, since leaving people stateless is problematic under international law, but the symbolic value of this power is enormous, as is its potential as a weapon to terrorize families with the possibility of being torn apart. Many millions of immigrants are dual nationals.

Speaking before both chambers of parliament, an extremely rare occasion, he called for legislation that would allow the state of emergency he declared to be extended for 90 days. He also called for changing the country’s 1958 constitution to give this extended state of emergency a stronger legal foundation, and for modifying a constitutional clause that currently allows the president to assume sweeping powers only in the event of an armed insurrection or foreign invasion. He announced the hiring of thousands of new police, border guards and prison guards.

The vagueness of Hollande’s intentions leaves open all kinds of possibilities. There is a general uproar in France’s ruling circles about the risks and opportunities posed by different approaches the country could adopt on a national and international level.

But there is much unity among the French ruling class in terms of repressive measures. For instance, when a leader of the Republicans (the new name of the mainstream right wing party) called for the internment of everyone with an “S” on their police file (meaning that they are under special surveillance, now usually for suspected Islamist connections, estimated to be between 4,000 and 10,000 people, according to Le Monde and the New York Times respectively), Hollande’s Prime Minister Manuel Valls refused to discard that possibility, saying that the government would consider “all necessary weapons.”

When the French president declares “We are at war,” what comes to mind is not just World War II but the Algerian war, when the powers Hollande is evoking were established. They were aimed especially at Algerians in France and also meant to settle disputes in the ruling class by force.

France may be “at war,” but with what realistic war aims remains unclear. At the same time, France cannot stand aside from this conflict, because it needs to maintain and expand its status as a great power, and ultimately as one of the handful of monopoly capitalist countries able to extract superprofits from its place in the workings of the world imperialist system. That is a very dangerous situation, for the French ruling class, the people of France and the world.

The risks are also very high on the domestic front. Stripping people of their French nationality would mean formally acknowledging the inequality of French citizens, a fact already experienced in the daily lives of people in the suburban housing estates where a section of the lower classes already feels confined. It is likely that one of Daesh’s political goals behind these ghastly attacks was to accentuate the dynamic in which large sections of people from France’s so-called “underclass” are pushed in the direction of Islamism by their marginalized position in society and especially by state repression against them.

Both sides are stepping up the polarization between Islamism and the French ruling class and its ideology. That is exactly the problem, the way the clash between these two reactionary sides defines the situation today. A refusal to recognize this dynamic—this reality—can only lead to being pulled into the wake of one side or the other despite protestations to the contrary. In the imperialist countries especially, but not only, this usually means helping the imperialists. Everywhere, supporting either side means strengthening the underlying reactionary dynamic and strengthening both.

It is hard for people to resist the attraction of these two poles without some understanding of why these are not the only choices. In the oppressed and oppressor countries alike, they need a long-term perspective of how a revolutionary alternative could arise. After the September 11, 2001 attacks in the U.S., despite a strong tendency of people to seek protection from the government, with the participation of revolutionary communists, a “Not in Our Name” movement emerged that was able to contest the Bush regime’s attempts to take the moral high ground as a representative of the victims and use this to legitimate even more massive crimes.

Today, a serious, courageous and growing opposition to the past, present and future crimes of imperialist rulers could provide political aid to those who hate both imperialism and Islamism in the Middle East and be part of beginning to change today’s unfavourable political landscape worldwide.

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 #414 November 23, 2015

Paris Climate Talks, Environmental Emergency, and the Stakes for Humanity

November 23, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Blue ice from glacial meltwaterA pool of meltwater from the Canada Glacier in Antarctica. Meltwater can form rapidly flowing erosive streams and cause sudden glacial changes. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Starting November 30, representatives from more than 190 countries will meet in Paris for a UN-sponsored conference on global climate change. Many heads of state, including U.S. President Obama, will attend. The talks are taking place in the wake of the horrific terrorist attack in Paris—and under a state of emergency declared by the French government, which has announced the banning of marches and other large public events that had been planned by people demanding action on climate change. This ban on protests is completely outrageous and must be opposed. (See "Oppose the Ban on Paris Climate Protests" at right.)

Many people around the world are hoping that something positive, at least a start toward actually dealing with climate change, will come from these talks—because the world stands at the edge of an environmental catastrophe. The climate/environmental emergency is accelerating and threatens to leap further out of control. The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned in 2014 of “long-standing changes in all components of the climate system, increasing the likelihood of severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts for people and ecosystems.”

Shocking developments are coming with intensifying rapidity: collapsing ice sheets in West Antarctica and disappearing glaciers; record-breaking global temperatures year after year; extreme weather of scope and intensity never seen in recorded history; increasing annihilations of forests, coral reefs and species; major changes in the chemistry of oceans around the globe; and other major disruptions in ecosystems.

All these transformations are already having devastating effects on people and threaten the future of humanity. Extreme weather and storms, droughts, rising sea level, and disruptions of ecosystems are causing increasing food shortages and starvation, poverty, and displacement of people. Climate change already causes the deaths of tens of thousands each year and is contributing to, along with other factors, the global refugee crisis. If things continue as they are, tens of millions of people, especially in the poorest regions of the world, will be pushed past the point where they can survive. Worsening climate crisis will cause even greater forced migrations, possibly of whole nations, and increasing conflicts over shrinking resources. All this will interact with the already horrible relations under the system of capitalism-imperialism and could strain the very basis of human civilization itself.

From the standpoint of the interests of humanity, the climate/environmental emergency calls for urgent, radical change: in the way industries and agriculture producing the necessities of life are organized, which right now are based on burning of fossil fuels, the major cause of global political structures and the thinking of and interactions among people.

But such fundamental, and urgently needed, changes are NOT what the U.S. and other imperialists and major powers coming together at the upcoming Paris conference are about—even though they claim to be working for a major breakthrough agreement to address global climate change. It’s their profit-driven system that has brought life and humanity on this planet to the precipice of an environmental abyss. Now, faced with the increasingly disruptive economic and social effects of global climate change, major forces among the U.S. rulers and other imperialists are coming to see a growing danger—not to humanity, but to their system of capitalism-imperialism that brings such massive horror and suffering to billions of people. Major voices within and close to the U.S. military, for example, are calling climate change a threat to “national power” and are arguing for the need to prepare militarily and strategically for upheavals sparked by climate change in order to preserve U.S. global supremacy.

U.S. and Other Powers Aim to “Mitigate” and “Manage” the Crisis

Leading up to the Paris talks, Obama—after sitting in the White House for seven years—has now promised the U.S. will cut its emissions of carbon dioxide (the main greenhouse gas) by 32 percent by 2030. Promoting the U.S. as “leading on climate change,” Obama recently decided against the Keystone XL pipeline . But under Obama, the U.S. has greatly expanded its commitment to develop its own oil and gas reserves, putting itself in the lead in production of the very fuels that have caused the climate crisis. Obama has overseen a huge spike in building of oil/gas pipelines and vast expansion of rail transport of coal and shale oil—and the accompanying increase in dangerous oil spills and train disasters. The cuts in carbon emissions Obama pushed forward are nowhere near what’s really needed, and completely in line with U.S. imperialist interests and the direction of the U.S. economy in any case.

Special Issue of Revolution on the Environmental Emergency

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

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Also available in brochure format (downloadable PDF)

The U.S. and other powers controlling the Paris talks are aiming to “mitigate” the crisis and to “adapt” their system as best they can to the realities of climate change. They hope to “manage” a roaring crisis that, according to climate scientists, threatens to leap out of control. They want to slowly draw back on the emission of greenhouse gases while still pursuing blind economic growth—and to gradually transition to different forms of “green energy” while they remain firmly tied to the world’s remaining fossil fuel supplies. As they do this, the U.S., Russia, the European Union (EU) countries, China and others are contending and competing for economic and geostrategic advantage, including as they work on various plans and agreements related to climate change.

This “mitigate” and “adapt” approach—with the goal of protecting their system of brutal exploitation and oppression—is behind the moves of the U.S. and other powers going into the Paris conference.

Most countries—including the U.S. and China, the world’s leading carbon polluters—are coming to Paris with “intended nationally determined contributions” (INDCs) to cutting carbon emissions. In other words, instead of an overall plan to deal with the global crisis of climate change and environmental emergency, there will be a multitude of plans from individual countries. The Paris summit will supposedly determine what cuts the individual countries will make, whether these cuts will be mandatory and enforced or be entirely voluntary, what kind of verification mechanism will be set up for the cuts, and who will control that verification process.

There will also be discussion over who will receive and pay for a “Green Climate Fund”—to supposedly fund poor countries, who have contributed little to the climate change crisis, to get green technologies and to “adapt” to climate change.

There’s no guarantee that the Paris conference will result in an agreement where the countries involved promise to cut their carbon emissions to some degree in the coming decades. If there is such an agreement, this will no doubt be trumpeted as a great new “breakthrough” in combatting climate change. But it will be nothing of the sort.

First, whatever agreements the powers actually come up with through this conference, their plans are going to be running up against the limits and the profit-in-command workings of their capitalist-imperialist system—and their military and strategic necessities as they engage in cut-throat competition against each other. It is simply NOT possible to quickly and radically transform the petroleum-based economy under this current system. One example: the U.S. military is the largest single institutional consumer of oil in the world. Will the U.S. rulers be willing to dismantle their military in order to help save the planet? The answer is obvious.

Moreover, even if the Paris conference comes up with an actual plan for global cuts in greenhouse gas emissions—and even if such a plan were to be fully implemented—that will not be enough to avert a planet-wide climate catastrophe. Climate experts have already calculated that the INDCs—the cuts in carbon emissions on a country-by-country basis—do not add up to the drastic cuts that are actually needed to make a significant change in the current disastrous course.

The whole approach of “mitigating” and “managing” the climate crisis is completely antagonistic to what is actually needed: an emergency effort to change the whole energy foundation of the world away from fossil fuels to clean green energy. Fossil fuels now in the ground need to be kept in the ground. The whole way agriculture is carried out needs to be dramatically transformed to move away from the way it contributes significantly to carbon pollution. There is a need to stop the destruction of forests and, in fact, to foster their stop the destruction of habitat and species...end the over-harvesting of fish...and much more.

Instead, the monstrous system of capitalism-imperialism rolls on—chewing up the earth...poisoning the air, land, waters and seas...driving species out of existence...shredding ecosystems.

The Real Way Forward

As Bob Avakian has put it:

This system and those who rule over it are not capable of carrying out economic development to meet the needs of the people now, while balancing that with the needs of future generations and requirements of safeguarding the environment. They care nothing for the rich diversity of the earth and its species, for the treasures this contains, except when and where they can turn this into profit for themselves... These people are not fit to be the caretakers of the earth. (BAsics 1:29)

The Paris talks are a gathering taking place under the domination and repressive baton of global imperialism. They are a means through which various powers are maneuvering over how best to preserve their interests and their whole system as they are confronted with a crisis of their own making. In contrast, what is needed is a coming together of the world’s people marked by international cooperation, to move quickly to do what is needed to save the planet and humanity. This can only happen as actual revolution increasingly breaks through to break the hold of capitalism-imperialism and to increasingly establish a powerful material force and moral example of preserving and protecting the planet, and allowing it to heal from the depredations of centuries of capitalism.

People must fight for that direction today—fight for the interests of humanity, stand up for another way; for a world where humanity is liberated from wars, poverty, oppression and brutality, for a society where people come together to preserve and protect our natural world, the very basis of our lives, with love, with appreciation and caring for it, for each other. We need a new world.

Stay tuned to Revolution/ for more coverage of the climate talks and protests in Paris






Revolution #414 November 23, 2015

Police Murder in Minneapolis:
Occupation Demands Justice for Jamar Clark

November 23, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


See also:

Cops, Lies, and Videotape

Read more

Sunday, November 15, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, 24-year-old Jamar Clark was killed by the police. The cops claim Jamar tried to grab one of their guns in a scuffle. But many, many witnesses say the cops handcuffed Jamar, knocked him to the ground, and then shot him in the head.

Ten-year-old Ze’Morion Dillon-Hokins saw what happened from the front door of his house, 15 feet away. He told the Daily Mail Online that Jamar Clark was handcuffed and then, “They took out a gun and ‘popped’ him in the face. He took two more breaths. I saw the smoke from the gun.” Ze’Morion said Jamar was face down when he was shot and the officers ‘‘flipped him over’’ after the gun had been discharged; that Jamar was dragged to an ambulance, where one handcuff was removed while the other remained on his wrist. Ze’Morion’s mother, Tequila Dillon, said: “He [Ze’Morion] was in shock afterwards.... He saw it all and it has upset him. He came in and fell right over and said: ‘They are killing us.’”

The struggle to demand justice for Jamar Clark began on the spot with a really angry crowd of people confronting the police and yelling, “Fuck the police.” Later, a couple of hundred people gathered at the intersection in response to a call by the NAACP and Black Lives Matter Minneapolis, marched to the police department’s 4th Precinct in North Minneapolis, and took over the outside and lobby area of the building.

The police tried to force people to leave. But the crowd, made up of people of different nationalities, defied the cops and declared a “no cops zone.” Again, very angry crowds, many from the neighborhood, confronted the police. Black Lives Matter Minneapolis hung a banner at the station and an encampment began with people saying this occupation would not end until their demands were met—which includes a demand that the video of the shooting be made public.

For a week now, this encampment of determination has continued to grow. There have been ongoing rallies and marches in the streets, a city council meeting was disrupted, and on Friday, November 20, students walked out at some middle schools and high schools.

Demanding Justice for Jamar Clark

Jamar’s father, James Hill, has refused to call for calm and instead told Daily Mail Online: “It was a cold-blooded execution of a man whose hands were tied. Where is the justice in that? I can’t describe seeing your son laying there in hospital with his eye shot out and being that way. He was as good as dead the moment the police shot him. They kept him alive to buy some time while they figured out what to do. This is a terrible situation, but I welcome people protesting. That is another black life gone. That is again one too many.”

On Monday night, November 16, about 300 people demonstrated on Interstate 94, bringing traffic to a halt for hours. The police arrested 51 people. Meanwhile, all kinds of people were coming to join the encampment and speak out. Bettie Smith, whose son Quincy Smith was killed by the police in 2008, spoke at a news conference in front of the precinct, saying, “The police need to be held accountable for murdering our children. None of our children deserve to be shot and killed, and then talked about like they are animals.” (Minneapolis Star Tribune, November 16)

The names of the two cops who shot Jamar Clark were not made public until Wednesday—and these two murderers, Mark Ringgenberg and Dustin Schwarze, had been placed on paid leave. This same day, police moved in and began dismantling the encampment, throwing away blankets, food, and books. But people refused to leave, and later that night there was another tense standoff between protesters and the cops, who tried to disperse the crowd with pepper spray. According to news reports, rocks were thrown at the police. AP said that the cops reported several officers being injured and several squad cars damaged.

Protesters reported that the police, who came out in military-style riot gear, fired rubber bullets, teargas, and mace; jabbed and hit people with their batons, dragged people by their hair, and pointed guns at people. They even poured out milk that protesters were using to counteract the teargas. Two journalists were arrested at the I-94 protest.

On Thursday, an image went viral on Twitter: a cop pointing a gun at Jeremiah Ellison, the son of U.S. Congressman Keith Ellison, who said in a retweet of the image: “Photo is agonizing for me to see. My son is PEACEFULLY protesting w/ hands up; officer is shouldering gun. Why?”

The encampment was rebuilt right away, and that night a crowd of at least 250 people gathered outside the precinct, joined arms and partially surrounded the building. One of the slogans was “Indict, convict, send those killer cops to jail.” Another was “Handcuffs, don’t shoot.” Slogans were spray-painted on the precinct walls, like FTP (Fuck the Police) and Justice for Jamar.

On Friday, federal investigators announced they would not release the video of the shooting of Jamar Clark. That night, the city council meeting was disrupted—people who tried to speak out about the police murder of Jamar were removed from the room. Earlier, a number of members of the city council had expressed support for the protesters.

Later in the afternoon, union leaders held a solidarity rally outside the police station. One speaker, Kyle Edwards of AFSCME Local 3800, representing University of Minnesota clerical workers, said working-class people are becoming aware that “we’re all in this together.” (Minneapolis Star Tribune, November 22)

Determined Encampment

Why are we still fighting for justice in 2015?

"Why are we still fighting for justice in 2015?" is a clip from the film REVOLUTION AND RELIGION: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion; A Dialogue Between CORNEL WEST & BOB AVAKIAN. The film is of the November 2014 historic Dialogue on a question of great importance in today's world between the Revolutionary Christian Cornel West and the Revolutionary Communist Bob Avakian. Watch the entire film here.

On Friday, there was a rally and march of several hundred people, of different nationalities and all ages, but young people in the majority. Native American dancers came out to the encampment to perform.

There is a real sense of community—people united and taking care of each other, and all kinds of discussions going on around the many fires people have going to keep warm. There has been an air of both defiance and celebration in the joy of people coming together to fight the power—people are not only marching in the street, but are also playing music and dancing in the street too! A woman from the neighborhood talked about letting people into her home to have a warm place to sleep. All kinds of donations are pouring in.

As there was in Ferguson, when people from all over the country came to join the struggle against the murder of Michael Brown, there seems to be a real welcoming atmosphere towards different people joining the struggle. One speaker talked about how we have to stay united; not let them use divide and conquer. He said, “If you got tensions between each other, work it out, keep it out, because they will try to use that against us.”

Livestream from Unicorn Riot, an alternative media collective, includes interviews with all kinds of people. A Black man making hot water for cocoa for people says, “I got a crib down the street, but I need to be here.” He has been going to his job during the day and then coming to the encampment. He says, “My co-workers, they see the button [with a picture of Jamar Clark] and they haven’t been out here and they don’t know, they just see the news.... People be like why you going over there? Because that’s where I need to be at. My job is to make sure we got hot water for the hot cocoa and hot apple cider so people can get warm and keep doing what they have to do.... Look at all these diverse people—you see Black, white, Asian, Somalians, you see everybody. It’s justice to be served. It should be done the way it should be done. I’m here, I’m not going nowhere.”

Another interview on Friday night is with a group of Black middle school and high school students. They talk about how they had led and/or been part of a walkout at school that day, how they had left school to join the encampment and were now staying in a small, portable wooden structure called the “Justice Shack.” One of them talks about the importance of history—knowing about how their names are from slave owners and how “they used to hang us.”

Another group of Black and white high school students who don’t seem to be from the immediate area came to the encampment with hot food, blankets, and donated supplies. They talked about how glad they are to be part of the struggle and when asked why they had come, they said, “We want a better future for ourselves, where Black people are not getting shot for minor things; Minnesota doesn’t have a death penalty, why are we executing people?”

And like in Ferguson, there are also many of the “brave elements” from the neighborhood who have come to join the struggle—very, very angry and expressing just how much they hate the police (“fuck the police!”), how much they are dogged by the police, and how fucked up it is that they are arrested, sent to jail, etc. for all kinds of things when the police just get away with murder. When asked what justice means after the murder of Jamar Clark, one guy said, “Fuck the police, we outside, you don’t have to shoot my brother... Black people is killing us, but you all killing us, too, all over the world... you all not helping us killing us... justice will look like the police doing time.”

Stay tuned to for updates on the developing situation in this struggle for justice for Jamar Clark.






Revolution #414 November 23, 2015

On the One-Year Anniversary of His Murder by Cleveland Police:

In the Streets—Demanding Justice for Tamir Rice

Updated November 25, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


On the weekend of November 21 and 22, people took to the streets to demand justice for Tamir Rice. His cold-hearted murder at the hands of Cleveland police one year ago on November 22, the refusal of authorities to charge the police who murdered him, and moves by the prosecutor to manipulate a grand jury exoneration of the killers, is intolerable. If police can murder an unarmed 12-year-old boy playing in a park and get away with it, what Black person, or Latino person, or Native American, anywhere, doing anything, can feel that they do not have a target on their back for police to aim at? See initial reports and pictures of protest actions here.


Cleveland protest, 1 year after Tamir Rice was killed by police
Cleveland, November 21. Calling for indictment of the cops who murdered Tamir Rice.

Cleveland, vigil for Tarmi Rice, murdered by Cleveland police 1 year ago
Samaria Rice, mother of Tamir Rice, at vigil in the park where he was murdered, November 22.

Protesters from Ohio State University

Photos: Special to Revolution/

From a reader:

On Saturday, 35 people rallied and marched with family members who lost loved ones to the police from five cities to be part of the weekend actions to demand indictments against the cops who murdered Tamir one year ago. We started at a major intersection by two housing projects. People young and older, Revolution Club members, and activists stepped off chanting, “Indict, convict send the killer cops to jail, the whole damn system is guilty.” As we marched through a project, someone said the mayor was at a high school along the way. So we marched right into the high school with banners, signs, and a loud message to indict the cops who killed Tamir. The mayor’s security grabbed one of our family members, but marchers defended the family member and they were able to continue on the march. Then we went on through a housing project and blocked part of the street as the police came. Then we marched on and blocked a major intersection in the area for at least 25 minutes, bringing attention to people to act to stop police terror. People were excited about the action today, felt we broke through some of the business as usual protest that goes on, especially important for the one-year anniversary of the murder of Tamir Rice. More later.

After the march, 80 people went to a speakout of families at True Light Missionary Baptist Church. Families told their stories of how their loved ones were killed by the police. These families came from Detroit, Akron, Ohio, Washington, DC, New York, and Chicago. They called for building a movement to stop the police terror, and a few brought out revolution as the solution. All expressed heartfelt determination to stop the killing.

On Sunday, November 22, 400 people gathered at the place in a park where Tamir Rice was savagely gunned down 1 year ago by Cleveland cop Timothy Loehmann. The vigil was called by Tamir Rice’s family. There was pain and anger in the faces of the people standing in the cold and light snow on the ground, as it was 1 year ago when Tamir was killed. People were moved as they heard Tamir’s mother and relatives tell about what Tamir was like as a young boy full of life, funny and active in sports. At a touching moment, 12 doves were released into the air for the 12 years Tamir lived, and there was a moment of silence. There were activists, family members of people who have lost loved ones from New York, Detroit and Cleveland and others young and older, of different nationalities, to say no more police terror. A Stolen Lives banner was held among other signs and posters. There was a busload of students from Ohio State University Coalition for Black Lives, an organization that held a sit-in in the student union this week in support of the students at University of Missouri and for calling out racism at OSU. They also held a forum earlier this week on the killing of Tamir Rice. Samaria Rice thanked people for taking action against the police killing of Tamir and many others. She was glad to see a movement has been born against police killings.

New York City

New York City, November 22
New York City, November 22. Photo: Revolution/

In New York, several actions took place protesting the one-year anniversary of the murder of Tamir Rice A very diverse crowd of activists, students from various schools including New York University, New School and Columbia, and a lively contingent of members of Restoration Temple Ministries rallied in Manhattan's Union Square. Speakers included Gloria Mattera from the Green Party, Hawa Bah whose son Mohamed was killed by NYC police in 2012, Travis Morales from the Stop Mass Incarceration Network and Carl Dix, also from SMIN and a spokesperson for the RCP. NYC Revolution Club member Noche Diaz spoke powerfully, leading the crowd in speaking the quote from Bob Avakian's book BAsics printed in this week's Revolution newspaper: “No more generations of our youth, here and all around the world, whose life is over, whose fate has been sealed, who have been condemned to an early death or a life of misery and brutality, whom the system has destined for oppression and oblivion even before they are born. I say no more of that.” Then Noche called the young people forward to give their ages—they ranged from toddlers to teenagers. Led by the youth, people marched to Madison Square and rallied some more. The Raging Grannies led songs, engaging even the very young.

St. Louis

St. Louis, November 22
St. Louis, in the streets for Tamir, November 22.

St. Louis, vigil for Tamir Rice.
Vigil for Tamir Rice, St. Louis, November 22. Photos: Special to

Fifty people took to the streets in St. Louis on the one-year anniversary of Tamir Rice’s murder. People marched down a busy boulevard across from Washington University and the popular Delmar Loop area. Protesters linked arms in the street and staged die-ins at intersections to repeatedly block traffic. Motorists and pedestrians were challenged to stand up for Tamir and decide “which side are you on?” People loudly chanted, including “No justice for 1 year, We do this for Tamir” and “12 years old! 12 years old! 12 years old!” and sang Janelle Monae and Wondaland’s song “Hell You Talmbout.”

A candlelight vigil was held as part of the vigils nationwide to mark the anniversary. A poem, sent from a woman in a shelter, was read by an 11-year-old. It starts, “I was 12 years old and my name is Tamir Rice / It’s been a year here and my body is cold as ice / I am the 12-year-old child they shot down in the blink of an eye...” The young speaker talked about how he fears police for what they might do to himself and his younger brothers and explained why he came out: “I felt so strong at the Tamir protest because basically since Tamir almost was my own age so that is kind of why I could be strong at the protest and my brothers are my life.” The vigil ended with 12 black balloons being released and floating to the sky.

People then took the struggle for justice for Tamir Rice along Delmar Blvd, engaging people on the street and motorists, and at several points along the way shutting down traffic.

Over 75 people overall, Black people and white people of different ages, took part in the protests during the course of the afternoon, including several children, members of stolen lives families, defiant young people who have been in the Ferguson protests since Mike Brown’s murder, students, clergy. Crews from Stop Mass Incarceration Network, RevCom, and CopWatch, along with individuals from several justice organizations, all joined together.


Chicago, Festival of Lights

A small but VERY determined group of protesters, including revcoms, Stop Mass Incarceration activists, students and others, braved a blizzard to protest for Justice for Tamir Rice, part of a national day of protest, at the Festival of Lights in Chicago. This is the annual tree lighting ceremony in Chicago, which ordinarily draws hundreds of thousands of people. This event was chosen as the site of the protest to reach thousands with the message: Justice for Tamir Rice and Stop Killing Our Children!

One grandparent from the Revolution Club brought his grandchildren to the protest despite the weather. He made a statement why they came: “First to bring forth my living grandchildren. The youth need to have a choice to live. Innocent children should not be endangered by any form of violence by the state or others; the fact that my children or yours could be a picture of violence rather than a picture of a living future. Anyone who has not been victimized by loss of their young ones through violence need to bring forth their children as testimony that we all want our children to live into the future.”

Chants rang out: "Tamir Rice could have been your boy, murdered by cops for playing with a toy;" "Hey cops, you can't hide, killing Black children is genocide," and "Indict, convict, send the killer cops to jail, the whole damn system is guilty as hell."

Despite the blowing snow, many people took pluggers and several stood and talked with protesters. The protest had to stop after an hour as the storm picked up, but clearly sent a message of "no business as usual" while there is no justice for Tamir Rice and police murder Black children with impunity.

Baltimore, November 22

Riverside, California

San Francisco
San Francisco

Baltimore, MD

In Baltimore, a crew of 12 joined at various times by another 5, rallied at Baltimore City Hall for Justice for Tamir Rice and all the children murdered by police. Tawanda Jones, whose brother Tyrone West was killed by Baltimore police, gave an emotional speech, along with a leader of the Baltimore Green Party; Rev. David Carl Olson of the First Unitarian Church; a supporter of the Revolutionary Communist Party and others. This was the first action called by the newly-formed Baltimore chapter of RiseUp/Stop Mass Incarceration Network.

Riverside, CA

People took signs to Central and Brockton, the site of Tyisha Miller’s 1998 police murder in Riverside, CA. They report there was not much foot traffic but lots of cars honked in response to their signs.

San Francisco, CA

On a very busy corner and next to one of San Francisco’s famous  cable car turn-arounds, in the midst of shoppers, tourists and street people alike, people gathered to rally, speak out and remember Tamir Rice, and to observe the one-year anniversary of his cruel murder. “Justice for Tamir! Stop murdering our children!” was a theme that many spoke to. People held huge photos and banners of Tamir, as well as photos of other children that have been murdered by police—Andy Lopez 13, who like Tamir, was killed while playing with a toy gun; Aiyana Stanley-Jones, 7, killed in her grandmother’s arms; and the recent brutal murder of Jeremy Mardis, 6, an autistic boy shot with his father in the family car.

Ada Henderson-Perkins, mother of Richard Perkins, a 39-year-old truck driver, killed by Oakland Police only last Sunday spoke. She described how she wasn’t told for three days that her son had been killed, but when she heard about a police shooting in her neighborhood she went out to the scene. “It’s terrible the way things are going on, we have to stop it. We have to fight for this. My son was shot 16 times! Four police officers shot my baby. I was out there but I didn’t know it was my own son. I prayed for that family but I didn’t know it was for me. I’m out here to support everybody all across the world—I had to be here.”

Dionne Smith-Downs, mother of police murder victim James Rivera Jr., 15, as well as Cephus “Uncle Bobby” Johnson, Uncle of Oscar Grant, both  of whom were part of Rise Up October in New York City, also came and spoke, and then joined 60 other people to take to the streets with many banners and signs. The loud and magnetic march drew the attention of hundreds of passersby. Leaflets, and copies of Revolution were grabbed up by people along the route. At the end, we held a short rally and made plans for future events and invited people to join up with SMIN and the Revolution Club, and to take the fight to end Police Terror to an even higher level.


Houston, November 22.


In Houston there were 3 Interacting events to mark the 1-yr anniversary of the murder of Tamir Rice.

A caravan of 7 cars led by a sound truck with 2 Stolen Lives banners on the sides wound its way through the Third Ward Black community. A key point in the caravan was stopping at the site where John Allen, known in the neighborhood as “Candy” because he was so sweet, was shot to death a few weeks ago by an HPD(Houston Police Department) officer during a routine traffic stop just blocks from his house. People in the area had told us details of what happened and showed us the spot where this occurred. We laid down flowers, memorial candles and a picture of John that had been supplied by a neighbor. Then we continued past stores and churches, getting out the flyers for Tamir Rice Day, and urging people to join the movement to Stop Police Terror.

This was followed by a march of 28 people through the housing projects, led by children, and we ended the day with a SayHisName/Stolen Lives Commemoration for Tamir at a local Catholic church in the area. The participants in these activities were a diverse group, including people from the neighborhood, long time activists, as well as people new to the struggle. There were college students, some members of the local National Black United Front, a local Green Party organizer, and revolutionary communists. Many people spoke on the bullhorn, including a Black youth who has participated in other activities, and for the first time shared his experience of having a friend of his shot and killed by the police right in front of him, and him dying in his arms. This brought the reality of all this into our event, and touched people deeply. We were also joined at the park and church by a longtime local Pacifica Black Affairs programmer, and a veteran of the original Black Panther Party joined us as well. While he had not been able to attend the other events, he had made sure that all his contacts knew of the activities.

There was a real sense among everyone that we had accomplished a lot, and people wanted to know the next steps. Several people in the neighborhood and among the participants were interested in the revolutionary solution and got copies of Revolution newspaper.



On November 24th, two dozen people rallied and marched downtown, in shared outraged at the murder of Tamir and to join with others around the country demanding an end to police terror and murder and calling on others to take a stand. Many did, adding their voices and energy to the day.

The action was very diverse, including white suburbanites to homeless people, anarchists, revolutionary communists and supporters of Bernie Sanders, college students and veteran activists.

Many people spoke of their own experience—including the friends and family of people brutalized and murdered by police. One especially powerful statement was read from a high school student, who had been involved in a high school walk out the previous week in support of students at the University of Missouri. Dozens of Revolution Newspaper were sold and distributed to passers by, with people off the street taking stacks to distribute on the spot. Others took stacks of leaflets and palm cards of BA to distribute.

After the main rally, demonstrators marched through downtown Boston taking over streets, and going into busy food courts to reach out to patrons.

Below is the text of a statement sent to the protest by a high school student:

Even though I cannot be here, I am here in spirit. A spirit that is alive and full of hope for the future, and with the spirits who are no longer with us. Today we are here to honor them, and make sure their lives are not taken in vain. Especially the life of 12 year old Tamir Rice. He would have been 13 today, the same age as my little brother. The same age, or maybe younger than many of our loves ones. But that day when Tamir Rice was shot, he was not seen as a child. He was not seen for who he was. And this is the real reason why we are here. We are here to keep Tamir alive. We are here to transform his premature leave from this earth into a stepping stone and a precedent for our own future, so that his sacrifice is not taken for granted. And though while going up these steps we might loose some. We will always be moving forward. So thank you for being part of one of the series of steps to make this happen.



In Seattle several dozen people gathered at Westlake Park. In solidarity with rallies held across the country, the October 22 Coalition to Stop Police Brutality had called people together to demand justice for Tamir, to “say the names” of those youth and others murdered by police, and to say STOP police murder of our children and everyone! Parents had been invited to come and bring their children, with their own messages and banners.

The rally was co-MCed from the stage by the mother of Oscar perez-Giron, a Latino youth murdered by police in Seattle, and the mother of Daniel Covarrubias, a native man who was murdered by police in nearby Lakewood. Marilyn Covarrubias, mother of Daniel, said “I am Tamir Rice, I am Oscar Giron, I am Antonio Montes, I am Justus Howell”. People from the audience came up on the stage to read out the names and stories of children and youth killed by police.

There were families there with their children. One couple had their small son in a stroller, and the mother, a Latino immigrant, spoke to those gathered saying she had not realized how many were being killed in this country until the recent outpourings nationwide. They feel for the families, and can’t imagine what it would be like to lose their child. An Asian mom was there because saw the flyer at a coffee shop. She came with her two children who had made a sign.

Seattle artist and mother Anastacia Tolbert has published a voice recording of her piece What To Tell My Sons After Trayvon Martin, After Michael Brown, After Medgar Evers, After, After, After, After and Before...” and this was played. It brought out the terrible dilemma of parenting in violent climate of a rasict system.

The sister of Daniel Covarrubias sent the following statement which was read out:

“This movement for Justice against police brutality is something that I will not back down from. I do not have that option None of us do. This could be any of us. These are human lives, these are our children playing in the park. My voice will not be drowned out. I will not stand by as a witness to this injustice that’s been happening in this country for far too long. We all must keep fighting, rallying, organizing and communicating with one another because the names of the victims should never be forgotten, we must be their voice!!! People need to know that they have a voice that can be heard if we come together for change. I know most people in this country do not agree with what is happening and feel that they are helpless against it. I want to tell them that there are so many ways to get involved. They can be a part of this great movement for change. I marched for John.T Williams back in 2010 and I felt like I had done my part but I know now that there are so many other ways I could have gotten involved. I was more powerful than I knew. I could have contacted organizations, the families of victims or utilized my own strengths to contribute in some way. God has blessed us all with gifts and talents. All our lives are valuable. We deserve to live in peace and we deserve justice. If we bring all of our strengths together, I promise you we will be a force to be reckoned with but we will also be a part of a powerful and much needed change in this country.”

At the end of this very moving demonstration, the crowd including children, with signs, took a group photo in front of the carousel!

Seattle, November 22


Charlotte, North Carolina

Charlotte, NCCharlotte, NC

From Stop Mass Incarceration Network, Greensboro—Close to 40 people rallied and marched in Charlotte, NC on Sunday calling for justice for Tamir Rice, the Black 12-year-old boy who was shot to death by Cleveland police one year ago. Organizers with The Tribe, Showing Up for Racial Justice and other groups called for the action, which was held in conjunction with protests all around the country. Organizers with the Stop Mass Incarceration Network Greensboro chapter traveled to Charlotte for this action. 

Speakers included Paris Bey, the cousin of Janisha Fonville, a Black woman killed by the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department in February of this year, who said, “I’m sick and tired of having to come to these protests where they kill another one of us! I’m sick of having to explain to my five-year-old son why this keeps happening.” Charlotte organizer Ashley McMillan made the connections between the murder of Tamir and the overall criminalization of Black youth, including the recent beating of a 15-year-old Black student in a Charlotte high school by police. The group then held a moment of silence at 3:30 pm, the time that Tamir was shot one year ago. A speaker from Showing Up for Racial Justice spoke on the need to affect hundreds of people by our presence downtown, and an activist representing Revolution newspaper spoke on how these police murders aren’t the result of a broken system, but of a system doing what it was designed to do. We then marched off toward the center of downtown.  

Several of the organizers had traveled to NYC for the RiseUpOctober protests, and the chant, “Indict, Convict, Send the Killer Cops to Jail! The Whole Damn System Is Guilty as Hell!” rang out loudly during both the rally and the short march to the town center that followed. There was a large number of people leaving the nearby Carolina Panthers game, some of whom were sympathetic to our cause, and others who preferred to keep their heads down and pretend we weren’t there. Organizers spread out over four corners of the main downtown intersection, spread out banners reading, “No More Stolen Lives” and “Jail Killer Cops,” and handed out hundreds of fliers about the case. After rallying and chanting at the intersection, organizers exchanged information and made plans to collaborate on future actions.  

Los Angeles

About 20 people gathered on Monday, November 23, at lunchtime with pictures of Tamir in front of the courthouse in downtown LA where 3 of the people arrested on the April 14 national day of action to stop murder by police were just tried and convicted, making the point that the cops who killed twelve year old Tamir are walking free, able to commit more crimes, while protesters who stand up to STOP murder by police are prosecuted and face jail time. The chant “Tamir could have been your boy, killed by cops for playing with a toy” rang out defiantly in front of the courthouse. A sign made by children on Skid Row said, “It’s not right” and “Stop Police Murder.” Family members of two people killed by police told their stories and demanded justice. One of the convicted April 14 protesters got on the mic to say that nothing is going to stop her from continuing to fight. After rallying in front of the courthouse, there was a spirited march through downtown LA, bringing the message of “Justice for Tamir” and “Indict, Convict, Send the Killer Cops to Jail,” to the lunchtime crowds and people on break from the halls of injustice.

The statement opposing the convictions of April 14th protesters and demanding that charges be dropped against all those protesting police terror was circulated and signed.






Revolution #414 November 23, 2015

"If you want others to be strong, you must be strong yourself..."

Lessons and Challenges in the Fight Against Police Murder and in Defense of Quentin Tarantino

by Annie Day | November 9, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


There is an important lesson being played out in the firestorm around Quentin Tarantino which has reminded me of a quote from the revolutionary leader Mao Zedong: “If you want others to be strong, you must be strong yourself.”

Quentin TarantinoQuentin Tarantino at the rally. Photo: Phillip Buehler

Tarantino has acted with certitude and courage on a central question of our time: murder by police must stop! He marched in the streets and spoke with clarity before thousands, which has reverberated around the world. For this, he has come under vicious and dangerous attack. In the midst of this, he has continued to bring it back to the central question: the police need to stop killing unarmed people. He has also spoken forthrightly to why he’s under attack: to intimidate him into silence and to send a message to other prominent voices like him to shut up. And he has spoken to the deeper reality of white supremacy (see interview on MSNBC) and mass incarceration as “American slavery part two” (see interview by Michael Slate).

In the face of distortion and slander, in the face of the threat of losing his ability to make his art, in the face of being pleaded with to apologize, to tone down or “walk back” his comments, and even in the face of what are outright Mafia threats: your actions are predictable and we will hit you with a “surprise,” which coming from any other entity would be immediately deemed a terrorist threat... in the face of all this: Tarantino has not backed down.

Under Attack for Taking the Right Side Against Police Terror

During Rise Up October, the question was posed: In the struggle against police terror, which side are you on?

Through fighting against this attack on Tarantino, those sides have been further clarified: Is the problem an epidemic of murder by police disproportionately aimed at Black, Latino, and Native American people backed up and approved by a legal system that rarely indicts and even more rarely convicts killer cops? Or is the problem that those who are killed are “thugs who deserve it,” with the danger to the police exacerbated by those who call out, question, or resist murder by police? Through this struggle, the sides have been sharpened and further delineated while the methods and aims of both sides are being further revealed, and many are being compelled to speak out who had before remained silent.

In the days after Rise Up October, the attacks on Quentin Tarantino grew. Initiated by the aptly named Patrick Lynch, the head of New York City’s Patrolmen’s Brutality Association, a number of other police unions joined in. Then the fascist Fox News went on the attack.

Carl Dix and Cornel West, the co-initiators of Rise Up October immediately issued statements of support and Dix issued a challenge to debate Patrick Lynch (which has still gone unanswered!). Dix took the offensive. On Fox News, he debated both the fascist mouthpiece Megyn Kelly and the notoriously racist ex-cop Mark Fuhrman. Fuhrman took the attack on Tarantino further, saying that he shouldn’t be allowed to film anywhere in the U.S. (This strain was picked up by police unions later in the week). Dix spoke clearly and unapologetically: the problem is murder by police and the fact is that this system is set up to exonerate murdering police. “As a human being with a conscience, Tarantino was right to join the protests and I was proud to stand with him.” (And in a moment that will give heart to all those with a fighting spirit for justice, Dix shut Fuhrman down beautifully.)

Over the next hours, more statements of support came in: from Charles Burnett, one of the most prominent independent Black filmmakers; from First Amendment lawyer Martin Garbus; from Grammy Award-winning jazz musician Arturo O’Farrill (who was also on the Advisory Board for Rise Up October); from actor Peter Coyote; from the National Coalition Against Censorship, and more. Novelist Joyce Carol Oates tweeted in support. Prominent actor Ed Asner, who has over the years himself been a major target for speaking out for justice, made a statement. Jamie Foxx took the opportunity at an awards dinner where the cast for the The Hateful Eight (Tarantino’s new film) was being commended to say: “Quentin Tarantino, I want to say this: You are boss, you are absolutely amazing. Keep telling the truth, keep speaking the truth and don’t worry about none of the haters.” For this, Foxx himself came under attack.

At the same time, a call was put out to some of the families of victims of police murder who were part of Rise Up October and over a couple of days, more than 20 statements came in. In the statements, those who lost their loved ones at the hands of the murdering police talk about what it meant to stand beside and fight arm-in-arm with someone of Tarantino’s prominence and stature. What it meant that he listened to their stories and joined the call that this must STOP, not just fighting for justice for their own family members, but to end this once and for all for everybody. In these statements, they talk about the illegitimacy of the attack on Tarantino and how this is part of a bigger attack on those fighting for justice. They commend his courage and challenge others in Hollywood to take the same risks he has.

These statements gave all those in this fight further grounding on who has right on their side and clarified the stakes. This isn’t about narrow career or financial concerns, or any of the other bullshit that is heralded in this society as what should be our primary concern. This is about the fact that tens of thousands of lives have been stolen over the last decades under the color of authority in this country and those who kill get away with it time and time and time again. This is disproportionately aimed at Black and Brown people and is the leading edge of a larger genocidal assault.* Further, it is the responsibility of anyone with heart and a conscience to speak out against this.

Tarantino spoke to this powerfully on October 24 itself in an interview done with Michael Slate in the midst of the protest: “One of the things about the movement that actually just means so much is that they have a powerful slogan: ‘Which side are you on?’ If you’re not on our side, you’re on their side. There’s no straddling the fence. There’s no silent majority. There is none of that. You have to take a stand. If you believe it’s murder, then you gotta call it murder. And you gotta call the murderers, murderers.”

What the Courage of Your Convictions Can Inspire

In the days before Tarantino spoke about the attacks on him, lies and rumors were being actively spread that he was going to apologize. This is how it is supposed to work in this society: the great theatrics of the public apology if you go beyond the status quo dictates of what this system finds “acceptable.”

But Tarantino refused to go along. He stood by his comments without apology. He spoke to the way his comments were distorted, but took the offensive, going more deeply into why he said what he said and why he was right to say it. This caused two things to happen: the attack dogs got more vicious and more people joined in support. The actor, writer, and activist Viggo Mortensen spoke up; Michael Moore added his voice; Tom Morello, Mark Ruffalo, Gbenga Akinnagbe, and others tweeted in support. The fact that Tarantino did not back down gave many, many people heart and it challenged many others.

What Is Right: Defending Murder by Police or Speaking Out Against It?

On Thursday, November 5, clearly furious that Tarantino continued to “call the murdered, the murdered and the murderers, the murderers,” Jim Pasco, Executive Director of the Fraternal Order of Police  issued an incredibly sinister threat. This will send chills down your spine: The head of the largest police union in the country spoke in clear Mafioso terms: “Our officers make a living trying to stop violence, but surprise is not out of the question.” He went on to say: “Something is in the works, but the element of surprise is the most important element... Something could happen anytime between now and [the premiere of Tarantino’s new movie]. And a lot of it is going to be driven by Tarantino, who is nothing if not predictable.”

This caused a groundswell of outrage in print and on social media, with many shocked at the lengths the police spokespeople were going to intimidate Tarantino into silence. Most recently, the executive director of the ACLU of Southern California issued an important statement in support of Tarantino. It also forced many to ask the question: The response of the police force to murder of unarmed people is to threaten those who criticize it?

This is very good and shows that, while we have to take their threats seriously, they can also backfire by revealing their true character: all they have to rely on in the end is illegitimate force and violence.

Carl Dix responded: “The Mafia style attack coming from Jim Pasco of the FOP would be cartoonish thuggery if it weren’t so dangerous. Artists need to be able to speak for justice without attacks and retribution... everyone should join us in speaking out against these bullying tactics. We should also understand that like any bully, they become most vicious when they’re exposed. In the face of video after video of unarmed Black, Latino, and Native Americans being tazed, stomped, brutalized, and shot in the back by police—their only answer to those who speak out and criticize is repression and force. Whether it be the tanks and tear gas in the streets of Ferguson or boycotts and bully threats aimed at silencing prominent voices who speak out. We say no to this! We will #SideWithQuentin and we will build a powerful movement of resistance to STOP murder by police.”

Right now: many more need to come forward. Many more—of all nationalities and from many different perspectives—need to speak in defense of Quentin Tarantino’s right to stand for justice without fear of retribution, including many more prominent voices. This is obviously not the safe or easy road, and it is not without sacrifice. It means going against the tide and being made—by the armed enforcers of this system—to pay a price. But this is what is required if we are to open up the air in society for many more to come forward in the fight for justice.

At the same time, we have to accomplish the mission that Rise Up October set out: “...we aim to change the whole social landscape, to the point where a growing section of people all over take ever-increasing initiative and make it unmistakably clear that they refuse to live in a society that sanctions this outrage [of police murder and mass incarceration], and where those who do NOT feel this way are put on the defensive.”

By having each other’s backs, the courage of our convictions and by challenging others—this is not just necessary, it is possible. And it is part of fighting for a world where mothers and fathers don’t have to fear for their children’s future because of the color of their skin, the language they speak, or the body they are in.


* See “Then Would You Call It Genocide?” [back]






Revolution #414 November 23, 2015

Student Upsurge: A Challenge and an Invite

November 17, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


The student upsurge on campuses across the U.S. in recent days and weeks is an inspiring and very welcome development. Sparked by courageous actions of students at the University of Missouri, the fight has spread to other campuses. There is a new generation rising up to demand an end to the longstanding, dehumanizing racist outrages that are a reflection of and enforce a system that has denied the humanity of Black people since its inception. At the same time, and in places intersecting with the Missouri solidarity actions, protests have broken out on many campuses against the extreme economic burden imposed on students broadly in the form of skyrocketing tuitions and enslaving student loan debt. This upsurge of students should give heart to many, many people—from those who catch the most hell in the ghettos and barrios of AmeriKKKa, to people from the ’60s generation who still carry hopes for a better world, to oppressed people across the globe, and everyone who thirsts for real, radical change. And the students’ bold stand and actions have drawn in—and compelled—others to support and join the struggle.

To students: Carry through on the convictions that have moved you to act—the righteous rising up on the campuses needs to go further and spread even more widely. And as you do this, engage with revolutionary communists who are uniting with this fight against oppression and bringing the understanding of the real source of these and other outrages—and challenging students to get into the leadership and work of Bob Avakian and the real revolutionary way forward to a radically different, much better world.



Sights and Sounds of the Student Upsurge

(updated 11/22/15)




Revolution #414 November 23, 2015

From a reader:

Occidental Students Occupy Campus—Demand Resignation of School President

November 20, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Occidental CollegeOccidental students have taken over the administration building for a week since Monday, November 16. Students are demanding for an end to tuition hikes, racial/gender equity, and for President Veitch to step down. During a speakout in the building by OSAC (Occidental Sexual Assault Coalition) on Tuesday, students told their stories of being sexually assaulted and raped and the opposition to action by administrators as well as the President of the university. Various campus groups and over 400 students have come together to follow through on these clear demands. (Photos: Special to Revolution/

Students at Occidental College took over the administration building.

As of Friday, November 20, students at Occidental College were in their fifth day of occupying the administrative offices (AGC) on the campus, and their ninth straight day of protesting racism and sexual assaults. Occidental is a private liberal arts college with a student population of 2,100 and is located five miles northeast from downtown Los Angeles. Black students make up 4.5 percent of the student body.

The students have listed 14 demands, including the resignation of the college president, increase funding for Black and marginalized students, creation of a fully funded Black Studies Program (a demand that has not been met for over 40 years), increase the percentage of tenured faculty of color, increase funding for the Chief Diversity Officer, demilitarize campus security (including removing bulletproof vests), and remove LAPD’s (Los Angeles Police Department) presence from the campus.

The occupation follows a weekend of protests that started with a walkout Thursday, November 11, as part of a nationwide protest in solidarity with activists at the University of Missouri. Over 600 students, including many white students, most dressed in black, walked out of their classes and marched through the campus, disrupting classrooms and the library. The march included some faculty and staff. The protest was led by student organizations—Black Student Alliance (BSA) and Coalition at Oxy for Diversity and Equity (CODE). Oxy United for Black Liberation (a coalition of BSA and CODE) is demanding Occidental President Jonathan Veitch’s immediate resignation or removal, because he has “mishandled issues of diversity and sexual assault on campus.” That night, students involved in the walkout received death threats from other students.

The protests continued over the weekend and Occidental Weekly, the school paper, reported, “At the football and basketball games Saturday, student activists wore all black, and many turned their backs to the American flag while the national anthem was sung. According to a post Saturday on CODE: Oxy’s Facebook page, students were heckled while singing the Black National Anthem, and white allies were shoved while trying to leave the stadium during the football game. The basketball team turned their warm-up uniforms inside out at their game so that the Occidental logo was not showing, in solidarity with Oxy United.”

On Monday, the students held a mass rally where it was reported that “organizers implored the crowd to continue attending the protests for an equitable and just campus with the same passion exhibited during Thursday’s demonstration. They reiterated experiences of racism on campus, such as the defacement of a Trayvon Martin memorial in February 2014.”

The rally then marched to the administrative offices (AGC) where over 400 students began to occupy the building. Antoniqua Roberson, a senior, announced that students would occupy the building until the administration met their demands. She said, “We are prepared to camp here, day in, day out, sunrise, sunset, until our demands are not only heard, but actually met.”

Students took over the hallways and parts of the building on the first two floors. Tents went up outside of the building. The students designated parts of the buildings as quiet areas, areas for meditation, and areas for video games. Food and water was brought into the building. Students began to sign up to sleep in the building with 55-73 signed up for each night of the week. On Wednesday, the students expanded their occupation by taking over the third floor of the building.

Professors were asked to stand in solidarity with student activists and hold class in the AGC. Several classes, the ASOC (Associated Students of Occidental College) Senate meeting, and the DEB (Diversity Equity Board) meeting were relocated to the AGC.

The Faculty Council unanimously approved a resolution expressing “full support of the Oxy United for Black Liberation students’ actions and demands for the culture around racism and diversity in the institution change.”

The Oxy students’ occupation and protests are a part of the rising tide of student protests throughout the country. This is a great and most welcome development and something that must be supported by everyone.

Students need to be getting into all the questions, including getting into revolution as the only way to end the oppression of Black people, being posed in the article, “Racist threats at Mizzou: Anger, and struggle over the way forward,” by Sunsara Taylor. That article states: “Big questions have been—and need to be further—torn open by the ferocious struggle that jumped off at the University of Missouri against racism and spread to other campuses. As Carl Dix, founding member of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, and co-initiator of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network, posed it in a recent statement, ‘What kind of a system breeds, supports and defends the kind of racism that the Black students at Missouri—as well as students at every college—have to face? Racism that finds expression in millions of other ways in this society? And what do we intend to do about it?’”

We will report further on what is happening at Oxy as this struggle continues.





Revolution #414 November 23, 2015

Plunging Into and Widening the Debate at Mizzou Against White Supremacy and Christian Fascism, and for Revolution

by Sunsara Taylor | November 16, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Revcoms and students at Mizzou
Revcoms and students on the Mizzou campus November 12. Photo: @NinaCavender
See Interactive Graphic: RevCom, anti-police brutality movement came to Mizzou

Big questions have been—and need to be further—torn open by the ferocious struggle that jumped off at the University of Missouri against racism and spread to other campuses. As Carl Dix, founding member of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, and co-initiator of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network, posed it in a recent statement, “What kind of a system breeds, supports and defends the kind of racism that the Black students at Missouri—as well as students at every college—have to face? Racism that finds expression in millions of other ways in this society? And what do we intend to do about it?” The urgency to these questions—and the answers that the RevComs were bringing into the situation—was intensified when white racists responded to these righteous protests by threatening to shoot and kill Black people on campus.

On Thursday, November 12, Carl Dix and the RevComs stepped right into the middle of this, connecting with, widening, and transforming the profound level of ferment that has been stirred up. About 15 students, mainly Black, gathered at “Speaker’s Circle” (a “free speech zone” on campus), a small plaza in the middle of a busy campus crossing. Many more were drawn in once he began. Dix saluted the students who had protested, linked the racism on campus with the white supremacy this country was founded on and which takes a concentrated expression today in police terror, and called on people to get into Bob Avakian, the strategy for revolution, and the new synthesis of communism he has brought forward to put an end to the many other crimes of this system once and for all. Other RevComs passed out Carl Dix’s statement (“Which Side Are You On? Statement of Support for University of Missouri Students”) and signed people up to get into the revolution and get involved in mobilizing protests on the upcoming anniversary of the police murder of Tamir Rice.

Many had heard of Tamir Rice, but very few knew the whole story and circumstance of his death and how the police had tackled and arrested Tamir’s sister rather than even allowing her to comfort her brother as he bled to death on the street. Several Black women present each made the point separately that the story made them think of a younger brother or a cousin, boys in their own families who are in danger already simply because of the color of their skin. One had tears in her eyes as she spoke.


"There would be no United States as we now know it today without slavery. That is a simple and basic truth.”

BAsics 1:1

Get your free e-book copy of BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian here.

Two Black men who had traveled down to Mizzou from Albany, New York, joined with us. One held the bullhorn for several hours and the other helped hold the Stolen Lives banner and at times joined in the agitation. They, too, came because they were inspired by and wanted to support the student struggle and, from their own perspective, linked this with the fight against other forms of oppression. With encouragement, a Black student testified about the fear she has been made to feel due to the racist attacks and threats on campus and her fear for the safety of her younger brother who looks so much like many on the Stolen Lives banner. “Black lives matter,” insisted a young white man. He pledged he would never sit back while other white people say racist shit in front of him, expecting him to laugh along.

All this was very rich and going strong when a viciously hateful white Biblical fascist showed up with his own bullhorn and sign covered in Bible quotes and the words “Obey HIM.” He got right up in the face of women, calling them “sluts” and “whores” and started taunting Black students, accusing them of “sipping gin and juice” and blaming Michael Brown for his own murder and justifying the actions of the police. It was vile and unadulterated woman-hating, racism, and homophobic bigotry, and it was meant to offend and to injure.

Several students told us that the guy is always on campus and that people usually just ignore or laugh at him. But this kind of celebration of oppression is not funny, and shouldn’t be accepted as just the normal backdrop to life.

On this day, however, a group of students surged forward and got in the face of this fascist bigot. At one point, a physical altercation seemed to briefly break out. It is unclear exactly what happened, but when it was over the fascist was whining about allegedly having been hit in the mouth.

Immediately, the whole scene got more intense and the crowd swelled even more. The preacher was screaming that he was “punched by a Black guy.” A progressive white student started screaming that it was absolutely necessary to “denounce the violence” or else “the protests would end up looking bad.” Right wing students dove into the fray, screaming about how “the left silences free speech with violence.”

In the face of this wild scene breaking out in many directions, we fought hard to refocus things back on what is truly important. We made clear: There is no “war on free speech” as the right wing students and much of the media has tried to pretend. And there is no tyranny of violence coming from “the left.” The whole notion is absurd. Here we were just a day after every single Black student on campus had been threatened with death by white people who were intentionally mimicking the language of people who had carried out mass shootings. And here we were holding up a banner of the faces of just a few dozen of the thousands of Black and Brown people who have been murdered by police. This is what there is an epidemic of: white supremacy and racism, including the police systematically killing Black people. This is the subject that has been focused up by the student protests and this is the subject we will not allow to be changed.

Soon, we had drawn most of the crowd away from the Christian fascist to listen to what we were agitating about, but he could still be heard spouting out his hatred behind us, condemning women who get abortions, gloating over the way the police keep getting away with killing Black people, screeching in the most graphic and hateful terms about gay sex, and howling about the alleged evils of socialism and godlessness. All this made it even more necessary, but also easier and more joyful, to get into why it is absolutely necessary for people to get into Bob Avakian’s work and leadership and join the fight for an actual revolution to put an end to all the outrages the fascist was boasting about.

Build unity against ALL oppression

We got into the first quote of Bob Avakian’s BAsics, “There would be no United States as we now know it today without slavery. That is a simple and basic truth.” As well as: Fetuses are NOT babies, abortion is NOT murder, women are NOT incubators. We got into the fact that the Bible was written by human beings, not by god, and that those human beings lived in agrarian, slave-owning societies that stoned women to death if they weren’t virgins when they got married and didn’t understand science yet. We backed this up with Bible quotes and challenged people to confront the real world and a morality rooted in that real world and the interests of emancipating humanity. We got into what communist revolution actually is and challenged people to dig into the work of Bob Avakian, who has advanced the science of communism and is providing leadership today so we can finally get free. Everything the fascist said became fodder for a deeper discussion of the need and the way to break all the chains of oppression and ignorance.

Before long, the right wing students got their steam up again and started shouting about the “left’s suppression of free speech.” A woman got in the main right-wing student’s face, calling out his racism as well as insisting that “as a white male he had no right to speak about her reality as a woman or the reality of Black students.” He accused all of us of being afraid of his ideas and unable to take them on, claiming that instead we rely on violent suppression or “discounting him because he’s a white male.” He screamed that everyone deserves the right to speak, even if you don’t like what they have to say. Oppressed people do have the right not to have to listen to reactionary threats and abuse.

Why are we still fighting for justice in 2015?

"Why are we still fighting for justice in 2015?" is a clip from the film REVOLUTION AND RELIGION: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion; A Dialogue Between CORNEL WEST & BOB AVAKIAN. The film is of the November 2014 historic Dialogue on a question of great importance in today's world between the Revolutionary Christian Cornel West and the Revolutionary Communist Bob Avakian. Watch the entire film here.

While we united firmly with this woman’s anger, we also clarified: The right wing student’s ideas are wrong not because of his “white male identity,” but because they do not correspond to objective reality. They are morally wrong because they are at odds with the interests of humanity as a whole and serve to reinforce a whole system of oppression—indeed his “independent ideas” are backed up by the armed force of the state. There is not an epidemic of suppression of fascist, racist, woman-hating speech in this country. Turn on Fox News. Turn on CNN, for that matter. Take a history class that promotes the LIE that this country was “founded on liberty” (meanwhile, enslaving millions of Africans and whipping, torturing, raping, and savagely driving them). Besides, if this right wing student is really serious about “everyone’s right to speak,” where is his outrage about Tamir Rice’s right to speak, or Sean Bell’s, or any of the other thousands of Black and Brown people who have been murdered by police? We pointed to these people’s faces and more on the Stolen Lives banner. Where is his concern about the right of Black students to speak about and protest racism without receiving death threats and worse? On those things he was silent, proving that his claim about “free speech” is a cover and an excuse to change the subject and we weren’t going to allow it.

And, no, we weren’t “afraid of his ideas” and we wouldn’t discount them because he is a white male. We were perfectly happy to take on his raggedy bullshit with substance, which we proceeded to do in front of an eager and growing crowd. At the same time, we made clear that this is not some airy “battle of ideas” in the abstract—and we challenged the students listening on this, too. The ideas that this reactionary student was spouting, the ideas that encourage and excuse white students and others to “change the subject” when racism comes up and to turn their heads and allow it to keep happening, are ideas that come from and reinforce a society and a system that is currently carrying out a slow genocide against Black people who have been penned into ghettoes in the millions, denied work, routinely terrorized and even murdered by police, degraded and dehumanized in the media, and locked in cages at a rate unrivaled anywhere in the world.

Sunsara Taylor with revcoms and students at Mizzou
Sunsara Taylor with revcoms and students at Mizzou, November 12.
Photo: @NinaCavender
See Interactive Graphic: RevCom, anti-police brutality movement came to Mizzou

The ideas of the Christian fascist that were shaming women for having sex and spewing the crudest hatred for women for having abortions or birth control are backed up by thousands of years of tradition’s chains and are being given the force of law across this country as abortion clinics are closed, doctors are terrorized, and women are being forced to risk their lives or have children against their will. We are not “afraid of the ideas,” we are recognizing and fighting against and calling on everyone to join the fight against the system of capitalism-imperialism that is enforcing these oppressive ideas on millions and millions of oppressed people here and all around the world. This is why the work and leadership of Bob Avakian is so valuable and important, this is why people need to get into this and join the revolution and this is why—even as people are learning about and figuring out where they stand in relation to that—we need to join together from different perspectives, shoulder-to-shoulder to fight against oppression today.

Throughout all this, one progressive white student kept insisting that we all be quiet and give him a chance to speak, because he “wanted to put forward a position in the middle.” Now that we had re-cohered the crowd, we gave him the space to say his piece. He insisted he was against racism and with the students who rose up, but also insisted that everyone present “denounce the fact that a preacher had just been punched in the mouth.” He said all violence is wrong and if we don’t insist on this we will allow Fox News to distort and discredit this movement.

Every time he followed something positive with the word “but,” one of the other protesters from out of town would interject, “Everything he says after that ‘but’ is going to be bullshit.” He had a point—that this student was trying to find a “middle ground” where there objectively was none. At the same time, we didn’t feel like this guy should be condemned in the same way as the fascists and reactionaries.

When he was done, I openly refused to denounce anyone for allegedly punching that fascist bigot in the face. Besides the fact that I didn’t see what happened and have no reason to trust the claims of that fascist bigot, the fact is that people should not have to be subjected to racist and degrading diatribes.

As for the broader notion that “all violence is bad,” this is simply not true. Think of the violence of a woman being raped, I told the crowd. Now, think of the violence of a woman fighting back against that rape and possibly injuring or even killing the rapist. Is the violence of the rapist and the violence of that woman the same? Many students shook their heads. I challenged people to look at the tremendous global violence that this system carries out every day for its mere functioning—its armies, its police forces, its prisons, its borders, and so much more that enforces relations that trap billions on the edge of survival. All that violence is going to keep going on until there is a revolution which, when the time comes for that under different conditions than today, will have to defeat and dismantle this system’s armies by force. And, in those circumstances, that will be like the violence of the woman fighting back against rape—liberating violence.

Around this time, students who had been listening intently for more than an hour began to sit down, making the decision to sit back and listen to all of what we might have to say. Afterwards, many thanked us for standing up to such hate but also for all the new information we had shared. They were moved particularly around what we said about the depth and outrageousness of white supremacy and police terror as well as the vicious oppression of women and the liberating views on all of this that we championed. At the same time, they were deeply compelled and intrigued by the rest of what we were saying—about revolution, about violence, about the Bible and atheism, about communism, and in our answers to the many different questions and arguments that got thrown at us. Dozens signed up, took flyers and got copies of Revolution newspaper.

See also earlier coverage from Sunsara Taylor at Mizzou:

Hitting the Ground in Mizzou—Raw Anger at Racist Terror and Profound Openness to Revolution and Greater Resistance

Racist threats at Mizzou: Anger, and struggle over the way forward

This whole scene went on for over four hours. The crowd would swell and then thin out, fluctuating from about 200 at its peak to about 30 at its thinnest. At times we would lose the center of gravity to some reactionary or fascist and then we would fight and gain it back. At one point, one of the Black men who had traveled from upstate New York asked to get back on the mic. In addition to wanting to share his own thinking, he seemed concerned that perhaps all the talk of communism might be turning off students who otherwise would be interested in the fight against racism. Not afraid of anything he might bring up, even if he chose to go up against what we were putting forward, we gave him the mic. He did go at the question of communism, but quite differently than I had expected. He challenged the students: “Don’t be afraid when you hear the word communism. What you should be afraid of is capitalism—that is what brought slavery, that is what brought white supremacy, that is what brought rape culture and all the rest. Communism...” he paused, turned, and pointed at me, “is this nice lady right here!” I threw both arms up in the air with pride and then, together with him and many others, plunged in to further open air debate over some of the most important and pressing questions confronting humanity today.






Revolution #414 November 23, 2015

Caught on Tape: The Savage Beating of Stanislav Petrov

November 18, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Two Alameda County Sheriff’s Deputies chase a man down an alley in San Francisco, California on November 12. One cop tackles the man and the two begin a merciless beating lasting more than a minute. Blow after blow rain down on the man who is clearly not resisting, lying curled on the ground or with his hands above his head. Again and again loud, sickening thuds are heard as the cops strike him repeatedly in his head, arms and body. All of this is captured on video and posted online by San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi. As of November 18 it had more than a quarter million views on YouTube.

People in the area were woken in the middle of the night to the savage beating taking place in the alley below. "I heard just loud smack, smack, smacks. I really thought they were gunshots 'cause they were super loud,” a witness told ABC News 7.

The victim, 29-year-old Ukrainian immigrant Stanislav Petrov, was still in the hospital as of Sunday, November 14. He was visited there by Alameda County Public Defender Brendon Woods. “From his elbow through his hands are swollen. It looks like he has several broken bones in both of his hands or arm areas,” Woods told Bay Area CBS-TV.

"The surveillance video footage is disgusting and reminds me of Rodney King," Woods said in a statement. "Those deputies viciously attacked a man who appeared to be surrendering. They beat him with their batons even though he was not resisting. This is clearly excessive force."

The video of the incident was not the result of any police investigation. Instead it was tracked down by people who live nearby and heard about the attack. The video was turned over to the Public Defender’s Office.

“This is some sadistic shit!!! I guarantee they say it was ‘justified.’ This needs to be out there,” one viewer commented on YouTube. Sure enough, a spokesperson for the Alameda County Sheriff said that the officers thought that Petrov was high on drugs so they didn’t know what he might be capable of. The two cops have been placed on “paid administrative leave” (aka vacation). The names of these brutal cops have not been released.

The brutality captured on the video is NOT an isolated incident but is the standard operating procedure for police. California, by far, leads the nation in murders by police, and the Bay Area and Northern California are a big part of the tally of victims of this growing epidemic.

So far in 2015, the San Francisco Police have killed five people, including three Latinos and one woman; senior officers have been caught falsifying evidence, and texting racist and homophobic messages; and jailers were exposed for staging gladiator fights among inmates and forcing them to perform sexual acts. A study in 2012 found that African Americans, who make up 6 percent of San Francisco's population, are seven times more likely to be arrested than whites. 
San Jose Police have killed eight people in 2015 (including one man they shot in the back and then lied about him reaching for his waistband), and three people have died in the county jail (in one case three jailers were charged with murder). In neighboring Sunnyvale, three people have been killed by police this year.

Everywhere across the country, police are killing, brutalizing and getting away with it. This must stop! And that is up to us—all of us. Stepping into the streets, challenging the millions who do not like what the police are doing, but have not yet stepped out: Which Side Are YOU On?!





Revolution #414 November 23, 2015

Border Patrol Agents Get Away with Murder!
Justice for Anastasio Hernández Rojas!

November 13, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


The U.S. Justice Department announced on November 6 that no federal charges would be brought against any of the Border Patrol agents who murdered Anastasio Hernández Rojas five years ago while in their custody. Anastasio was 42, and had lived in San Diego for more than a decade with his wife and his five U.S.-born children when he was killed.

May 28, 2010, Anastasio was detained with his brother in San Diego after entering the U.S. illegally. Depositions in the civil lawsuit said they cooperated, but during their processing, Anastasio was injured by a kick from an agent. He asked for medical care, and an immigration hearing. Instead the supervisor decided he should be “voluntarily returned” to Mexico—by forcing him through the entry gate. The agents claim he resisted this deportation; and they attacked him brutally.

While handcuffed and hogtied, lying on the ground barely moving, yelling for help, he was beaten bloody by border agents, while they repeatedly said “stop resisting.” A dozen other agents stood by watching. People on the bridge at San Ysidro border crossing had been recording the inhumane beating of Rojas. So when they were finished, the killers went to the bridge and confiscated the cell phones of people who’d witnessed it, and erased their videos of the murder.

The coroner ruled Hernández Rojas’ death a homicide. His examination found he had died of a heart attack after sustaining massive injuries from the beating: “bruising to his chest, stomach, hips, knees, back, lips, head and eyelids; five broken ribs; and a damaged spine.” Despite these findings, including one video of the assault, no charges were filed.

But in 2012 a second video appeared. One woman on the bridge had hidden her cell phone when the agents took the others. She held it for two years out of fear, because it showed a man being killed. The video was aired in 2012 in a PBS report. This video clearly contradicted key evidence and testimony of the agents who killed Anastasio.

The uproar needed to be dealt with on another level, so the Justice Department stepped in. It wasn’t until over five years after the killing of Hernández Rojas that the Justice Department issued their verdict—that there was no evidence that could prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Hernández Rojas had been murdered.

In their press release the Department of Justice wrote “a team of experienced federal prosecutors determined that the evidence was insufficient to pursue federal criminal civil rights charges,” because they couldn’t prove that the Border Patrol agents had acted willfully, “with the specific intent to deprive the victim of a constitutional right.”

To which it must be said: a system where there is no right for someone not doing anything wrong to live—and to not be brutally, sadistically, tortured and murdered by a mob of police—is a system and constitution that needs to be swept away with revolution and replaced with a whole different system (and constitution) where this can never happen.

And why couldn’t they bring even a manslaughter charge against any of the agents, where they merely have to charge that the federal agents “committed a lawful act in an unlawful manner, or without due caution and circumspection, that might produce death?” Because “the federal agents’ action were not done without due caution and circumspection.” Think about this: the bloody murder of a human being while restrained represents, in the eyes of the U.S. Department of Justice, the use of due caution and circumspection. What does that say about the role that the in-justice system plays, at all levels, in exonerating those they have given the monopoly to use violence against the people?

The lawyer for the family in the civil lawsuit went on to point out: “They waited until the statute of limitations ran on charging the officers with civil rights violations or assault. They waited five years, and when all that was left was murder charges, decided there wasn’t enough evidence to charge anyone with murder.” This is yet another example of the point that Bob Avakian has made: “Yes, there’s a conspiracy, to get the cops off.”

Hundreds of people demonstrated their anger in San Diego the night of the announcement of the exoneration of the killer Border Patrol agents. Maria Puga, wife of Hernández Rojas, said about the decision: “How can we believe in the government if they cannot deliver justice. From the beginning, it seemed like the investigation favored the agents; they got away with murder.” Anastasio’s mother said: “This is not justice. It seems like justice is only for the wealthy and not for the poor... The say that no one is responsible for the death of my son, but they are responsible. The agents that beat him, electrocuted him, and choked him are responsible.” And his brother Bernardo said: “If someone hits a dog, they get charged. These agents killed my brother, but nothing will happen to them. That is not right. Where is the justice?”





Revolution #414 November 23, 2015

November 23, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


From Los Angeles comrades

Richard Duardo: In Memoriam

May 15, 1952 – November 11, 2014


It is with great sadness that we mark the passing of Richard Duardo—an important artist and friend—in Los Angeles, California, one year ago on November 11, 2014 at the age of 62. Richard was a master silk screen artist who came alive in the 1960s when revolution was in the air, when whole sections of society changed their lives to change the world and created new ways of thinking and living and working—to contribute to ending the oppression of humanity and building a far better world.

Richard was a rebel throughout his life and he loved the people. He would often talk about his life being shaped by his experiences growing up in East LA and the realization he came to in high school as he sat in dead-end remedial classes that, “I’m being routed into Nowheresville. There’s no future for me.” The rebel in Richard refused to lay down and be eaten by the machine, nor would he tolerate it being done to anyone else. He became a student activist and explained, “That’s part of waking up. It’s just like going, ‘Oh, my God, we’re just being railroaded here.’ Railroaded in my education, being brainwashed that everything is cool when it’s all fucked up in this school.” Richard led walkouts and protests at his high school. And he played a role in the famous Chicano Blowouts in East LA. This was an uprising that responded to the ugly reality that Chicanos were getting a grossly unequal education and were then being sent to Vietnam to fight for U.S. imperialism, where they died in overwhelmingly disproportionate numbers compared to soldiers from other sections of society. Richard became the co-editor of a radical high school newspaper—The Student Voice—that called out all the lies and inequality in the schools and society. He joined one of the first MEChA chapters formed on a high school campus (MEChA is a Chicano student group) and then later hooked up with the radical student organization Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). Eventually the high school came down on him hard, threatening expulsion if he did not stop his activism.

But the rebellious fire in Richard continued to burn. He used to joke about how he once had a library of over 300 politically radical books—most of which he said were stolen—and he read them voraciously. When Richard discovered art he realized that this was a place and a vehicle where he could be a revolutionary and express opinions that matter, reach the people and change the world. He loved to tell the story that in one of his earliest art classes, he devoted his efforts to creating ceramic busts of Mao Zedong (the great revolutionary of the 20th century who led the revolution in China), Ho Chi Minh (a nationalist revolutionary who led the Vietnamese people’s war) and Che Guevera (who led a nationalist revolution in Cuba). He sought out and worked with other artists who shared his views. And as he became more involved in both his art and his activism he searched for ways to bring the two together.

In his later years, he loved to take friends out to see the Highland Park loft where the Los Four—a collective of radical artists Richard belonged to—lived and worked. And among the stories he remembered best was how these artists would often start their day by reading the Red Book and talking about how what they were reading would/could/should impact their art. (The Red Book was a book of quotations from Mao Zedong which shaped a generation of revolutionaries around the world in the 1960s, influenced by the Cultural Revolution in China.) Richard once commented that this was the time in his life when he felt most alive.

As the struggle of the 1960s gave way to the 1970s and ’80s, Richard continued to pursue art that challenged the fabric of society. In addition to continuing his own art work, he stretched out and became a master printer. He loved in-your-face rebellious art and he always found the ways to promote this broadly. He worked with, and turned his print shop and printing expertise to helping a range of young artists, especially graffiti and street artists, get their work out in society. This was the art that Richard loved and he was proud to be part of getting it seen by the world. He was the first LA artist to work with—and bring to LA—Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, and others. When asked why, he explained that he felt really compelled to do as much as he could to promote the people who didn’t go along with the status quo and who had the potential to bend minds in different directions. This is one of the things that really attracted him to the artists Banksy and Shepard Fairey, whose work Richard enthusiastically supported and helped print.

He remained a prolific artist who produced/printed the works of over 450 other artists. He also created his own works—energetic, bold, and brightly colored silk screen portraits of cultural and revolutionary icons, including Mao Zedong, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Grace Slick, Che Guevara, Elvis and many others, earning him the nickname “The West Coast Warhol.” He created the movie poster for the film Frida and the album cover for Jackson Browne’s Lives in the Balance.

Comrades in the Revolutionary Communist Party knew Richard for over 30 years and maintained a friendship valued by him and our Party over this whole time. As the years went on and the social climate changed, it impacted Richard, who always saw the need to fight, but questioned whether we could win. But he still really loved to talk and argue about changing society, how it could be done and toward what end. He was always looking for ways he could introduce people he saw as kindred spirits to the revolution. When he discovered Bob Avakian, he felt a great spark. Some of the cynicism that grew with the years was challenged and Richard often talked about how he saw hope for humanity in Bob Avakian—he appreciated his bravery and fire. He said he thought that BA is the most important asset the revolution has and that he really hoped everybody involved in it gets that. Richard acted on this himself. He wanted to be part of popularizing and defending BA and his works throughout society. He was an early signatory to the statement: “Dangerous Times Demand Courageous Voices, Bob Avakian Is Such a Voice.” A few years later, he undertook a very important project that had personal and political meaning for him, creating the Bob Avakian image which has been reproduced on thousands of T-shirts, posters, and palm cards. He thought deeply about the injustice of the system and saw BA as one of its most eloquent foes and created the image as a contribution to getting Bob Avakian known everywhere.

When Richard died last year hundreds attended his memorial and, in a way that mirrored his life, they came from every corner of life in LA. As a matter of principle, throughout his life he worked and lived close to his roots in Downtown and Highland Park and always tried to keep people close. He was gracious and kind, creative in all things right down to the daily schedule he wrote on a big white board every day. And through it all, he still maintained a love for the people and a glowing ember of revolutionary hope.

We miss him and think of him often. It was great to talk to him—usually over a great meal of tamales at his studio or incredibly delicious enchiladas at a hole in the wall restaurant in East LA, wrangling over what needs to be done and how to do it. Until the end of his life he remained full of hope and love for the oppressed. We carry his spirit in our hearts.


A message from Richard Duardo to "On the Occasion of the Publication of BAsics: A Celebration of Revolution and the Vision of a New World," an event held on April 11, 2011 at the Harlem Stage in New York City.




Revolution #414 November 23, 2015

Grand Opening of Revolution Books...

A Great Day in Harlem For the World!

November 17, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Grand opening celebration at Revolution Books in Harlem, November 15
Grand opening celebration at Revolution Books in Harlem, November 15

It was a brisk November afternoon in New York City. 437 Malcolm X Blvd. The sign atop the storefront was just finished: Revolution Books. Balloons were bobbing in the wind. A crowd was gathering and growing outside the entrance. People were expectant, many peering through the book display window. And then, at 2:30 p.m., the doors to Revolution Books opened.

People entered wide-eyed, taking it all in. There were smiles, handshakes, and congratulations. "I was here over the summer when you first started's incredible what's been done," a professional consultant commented. A student from Columbia University chimed in with pride: "We were working late last night to get it ready." And there were others like him and also people from the neighborhood contributing time, ideas, physical work, and funds. A long-time Harlem resident was beaming with delight: "We so need a bookstore like this!"

You walk in and quickly come upon the fiction section. Move along the wall and there are the shelves on the history of Black people. Look around and you encounter artwork, including African face masks donated by a Harlem resident and an old friend of Revolution Books. Glance at the wall opposite and there's the section titled "The Emancipation of Humanity," where Bob Avakian's work and communist theory and the history of the Russian and Chinese revolutions are featured. Okay, later to browse...people are taking their seats. It's now a full house inside, and outside (the event is sold out) people are sitting in folding chairs, sipping coffee, and waiting to watch and hear it all on monitors.

The grand opening celebration for Revolution Books in Harlem was about to begin.

"It's On... We're Here!"

Overflow crowd at the opening, watching the program on a monitor |
Overflow crowd at the opening, watching the program on a monitor!

Andy Zee, spokesperson for Revolution Books, went to the podium: "It is with great joy and with a serious sense of responsibility that comes from understanding what Revolution Books can mean for a radically different and better future for the people of the world, that I have the honor of opening the first program at the new Revolution Books in Harlem, NY." The audience erupted in applause. He continued: "And I say to the world: It's on! We're here. We're ready to make real just what we say we are. A center of a movement for an actual revolution, a bookstore with novels, poetry, history, science, philosophy, and more, a place about the world and for a radically different world."

November 15 was truly an exciting and momentous grand opening. The great Kenyan novelist Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o had flown in specially to give a reading and talk on the occasion. Andy Zee spoke about the mission of Revolution Books. There was mingling and discussion. Ngũgĩ and Andy spoke at two programs in the new store: the afternoon event and a benefit dinner to help raise the $35,000 still needed for RB to be fully up and running.

People turned out from Harlem, and from around the city and beyond—people of different nationalities and ages; from different sections of society; students and scholars; activists and professionals; revolutionaries. All told, some 175 people came together to CELEBRATE. And they experienced a place where ideas and books and critical inquiry are taken seriously and joyfully—and that is a center of emancipation where you discover Bob Avakian and the new synthesis of communism, and a movement for an actual revolution to put an end to all exploitation and oppression. Where you are challenged and transformed.

Imagination, Books, Liberation...and Revolution Books

Andy Zee on Revolution Books

Andy Zee, spokesperson for Revolution Books

Andy Zee, spokesperson for Revolution Books

Andy Zee opened. His talk was called "Revolution Books and the Emancipation of Humanity." He got into how Revolution Books embraces people's dreams and hopes—indeed, "dreams in a time of war," invoking the title of one of Ngũgĩ's memoirs. Wars on women, on refugees, not to mention drone strikes, and war on the planet itself. RB is where people find, experience, and can engage science, history, philosophy, and poetry, telling stories of struggles and hopes and providing understanding of the world and how it might be different.

RB does this, Andy explained, "in the context of not just how the world has been historically or how it is today, or even an imagined future, but looking at all this with our sights set on what really could be. Because: the world today holds the potential for something far better. And to unlock that, at the foundation of Revolution Books is the most advanced scientific theory for a revolution for the full emancipation of humanity: the new synthesis of communism brought forward by the revolutionary leader, Bob Avakian."

Andy looked out into the crowd: "The problems of the world today appear on the surface to be intractable. People are compelled to choose between 'competing horrors and futures that are no future'—whether it be reactionary Islamic fundamentalism vs. imperialist modernity...or the 'choices' given Black and Latino youth, of winding up in prison or being shot by the police."

Andy went on: "We live in a world where there is no socialist society, like the Soviet Union from 1917 until 1956, or revolutionary China from 1949 until 1976. These were breakthroughs for emancipation—but they were defeated. And for 40 years there has been no beacon of real liberation, and sights have been lowered. But the world needs revolution more than ever; it needs a way forward."

And this is the great need that Bob Avakian has risen to. Andy talked about how over the last four decades, Bob Avakian (BA) has been charting that way forward. Avakian has developed the concrete strategy and vision for a new liberatory society and world—and, most decisively, Avakian has made a qualitative breakthrough in the scientific method and approach for understanding reality as it actually is, and for discovering and probing the patterns and pathways in the acute contradictions that oppress people today, how they are developing, and how this holds the potential for revolution.

In a world that cries for fundamental change, and many decades after the previous great socialist revolutions were defeated, Avakian's new synthesis of communism is...a "game changer." And that is the heartbeat of Revolution Books—and why Revolution Books is this center for emancipation and transformation.

Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o: "The Book, Story and the Conquest of Time and Space"

Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o 
Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o

Andy then introduced Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o. Ngũgĩ is known and revered the world over as a master storyteller, an innovative literary and cultural theorist, and an artist of conscience and conviction. He has identified with and given voice to the oppressed, to those who suffer and struggle against imperialism. His work spans Kenya's history as a colony of Great Britain, the heroic uprising and insurgency against the British, and Kenya since it gained formal independence in 1964 but still dominated by imperialism. (See"Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o: Kenyan Writer Dedicated to Opposing All Oppression")

It was utterly fitting that Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o would help inaugurate the store. And he did so with incredible verve, warmth, and humor.

The title of his talk was "The Book, Story and the Conquest of Time and Space." He read movingly from an installment of his memoirs and told of his mother who did not know how to read or write but who encouraged him to learn—and, always, even when he came home with perfect marks, chiding him: "Can't you do better?" And he recounted the glorious moment when he realized that he could write.

He teased the audience, "You don't believe I can conquer time and space?" He challenged people to think about what they had eaten for breakfast and to jump ahead to where we are now. To think about places they had been and here we are. "You see," he said, "you are conquering time and space."

Which led to his account of being arrested by the Kenyan government in the late 1970s and being locked up in Kenya's maximum security prison, which he described as "walls within walls." He said he was able to "escape" by using his imagination to, yes, conquer time and space. Imagination, he said, is one of the most important qualities of being human: consider the architect who envisions a building—because it allows us to think about possibilities. It was in prison, he explained, that he wrote his novel Devil on the Cross—on toilet paper. He was able to reach across the walls, to the oppressed in Kenya and beyond, through imagination. (Revolution Books will soon be posting a video of Ngũgĩ's talk.)

An Amazing Dinner

The fundraising dinner was itself a highlight. People introduced themselves; there was animated discussion; and Ngũgĩ made contact with old friends and new readers and admirers. Not least, the food was stupendous (and got rave reviews): Indian dishes by way of South Africa, Senegalese and Ethiopian specialties, soul food and more. Seven restaurants—six in Harlem and one in Brooklyn—catered the event, donating the food.

Provocative Q&A

Ngugi wa Thiong'o and Andy Zee
Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o (left) and Andy Zee

A lively Q&A followed the evening presentations. Someone from Senegal, now living in Harlem, asked Ngũgĩ about the relationship between writing in one's local language, to connect with people at home, and being able to reach an international audience through languages like English, French, and German.

Ngũgĩ explained that the world is interconnected, but historically colonialism and then imperialism—and he gave the examples of slavery and Ireland—seek to suppress and steal people's names and languages. The oppressors do this in order to erase memory and culture. People, he elaborated, need their own culture and language to speak to, reflect on, and preserve experience—but they also need translation to reach across borders and to share knowledge.

Someone asked about the influence of Islamic fundamentalism in Kenya. Ngũgĩ quipped that we've also got this problem with another fundamentalism—"capitalist fundamentalism"—subjecting everything to the market and to capitalist-corporate control—alongside religious extremism, which only helps imperialism.

Andy Zee, drawing on Bob Avakian's work, and against the backdrop of the recent, horrific attacks in Paris, spoke about the clash between the two oppressive "outmodeds" of Western imperialist modernity and reactionary fundamentalism.

Ngũgĩ signing books
Ngũgĩ signing books

He got into how these "choices" lock people into the current intolerable social order; how if you support one you wind up strengthening the other, and both; and how Western imperialism is far and away the greater problem and fundamental cause of this—in the domination it has exerted and suffering it has brought and continues to bring to the billions on the planet. And how, here at Revolution Books, you discover the liberatory alternative to this. He also observed that when there were genuine socialist countries in the world—the Soviet Union before 1956 and China during the Mao years—this had a tremendously positive and revolutionary influence on liberation struggles. And now there is a new synthesis of communism that opens up new possibilities for making even more liberatory revolution in today's world.

A linguistics scholar in the audience commented to one of the organizers of the program that he had been thinking about this question, and had some similar thoughts, but that Andy's comments really opened his eyes and got him thinking in a new way.

You felt that solid core of Revolution Books, the science of communism as it has been taken to a whole new place by Bob Avakian, wrapping its arms around diverse artistic and intellectual currents, alive to all those dreams and insights—and raising this up. It came through in the exchange between Andy and Ngũgĩ the interactions with the the conversations taking place in the store and at the dinner.

A Great Beginning

(left to right) Andy Zee, Columbia University professor Jamal Joseph, and Noche Diaz from the Revolution Club, NYC
(left to right) Andy Zee, Columbia University professor Jamal Joseph, and Noche Diaz from the Revolution Club, NYC

And, yes, it was a joyous celebration. The afternoon program and benefit dinner drew notable figures. Jamal Joseph, a professor at Columbia University who is also on the advisory board of Rise Up October, came. So too did Herb Boyd, the well-known writer and chronicler of Harlem and a long-time friend of Revolution Books.

Several distinguished scholars attended the benefit dinner, including Gayatri Spivak, a founder of Columbia University's Institute for Comparative Literature and a renowned voice against "intellectual colonialism; and Brenda Green, head of the Center for Black Literature at Medgar Evers College, and also a long-time friend of Revolution Books. Other distinguished professors, including some department heads, came from Columbia, CCNY, Hunter, Princeton, and other institutions. There were people from the literary scene, as well as the people's media, from the Harlem Development Corporation, as well as people from the neighborhood and students just learning about and getting active in bringing this bookstore and center for revolution into being. Front-line fighters from the Revolution Club were at the dinner tables too.

The scene at the grand opening of Revolution Books in Harlem
The scene at the grand opening of Revolution Books in Harlem

Revolution Books' move to Harlem, the renovation of the new space, and putting the celebration together—this has truly been a labor of love. More than $125,000 was raised and loaned over the last year. People have been giving their time and energy and creativity. Some 20 publishers—mainstream, university, and small independents—donated books for the grand opening.

A community of support and engagement is being forged around this store—on the foundation of its solid core of BA and the new synthesis of communism. It was evident in the conversations, in the formal talks and question-and-answer, in the good will that permeated the air, in discussions about expanding the financial base and raising the profile of Revolution Books.

After each of the two programs, people stayed around, looking at books, talking with Ngũgĩ and Andy, and sharing with each other. There was incredible warmth. This was a great beginning—with much more to come!




Revolution #414 November 23, 2015

Speech by Andy Zee at Grand Opening of Revolution Books...

Revolution Books and the Emancipation of Humanity

November 17, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |

Andy Zee Andy Zee, spokesperson for Revolution Books, at the store's November 15 grand opening celebration in Harlem

The following is the text of the talk given by Andy Zee, spokesperson for Revolution Books, at the store's November 15 grand opening celebration in Harlem.

It is with great joy, and with a serious sense of responsibility that comes from understanding what Revolution Books can mean for a radically different and better future for the people of the world, that I have the great honor of opening the first program at the new Revolution Books in Harlem, New York.

So now, I say to all of you have joined us for this Grand Opening Celebration, and I say to the world: It's on! We're here. We're ready, to make real just what we say we are: a center of a movement for an actual revolution, a bookstore with the novels, poetry, history, science, philosophy, and more, a place about the world and for a radically new world...a place where people have the opportunity to discover, experience, and engage all of this...and do so in the context of not just how the world has been historically or how it is today, or even in an imagined future, but looking at all this with our sights set on what really could be, because the reality of the world today holds the potential for something far better, and to unlock that at the foundation of Revolution Books is the most advanced scientific revolutionary theory for a revolution for the full emancipation of humanity: the new synthesis of communism brought forward by the revolutionary leader, Bob Avakian.

My name is Andy Zee, I am the spokesperson for Revolution Books, Welcome. My appreciation to all of you for joining us today for this celebration. I want to invite you to join me in recognizing the dedication and work by the staff of Revolution Books over the past five months. I also want to appreciate the incredible warmth of the people from this neighborhood who pitched in and worked so hard on the renovation; who came by and donated what they could to make this possible. Let's give a big shout out to the people who are listening outside because the program was sold out. And I want to say to you, I look forward to meeting you here next weekend at the open house.

And, please join me in also recognizing the welcoming spirit and encouragement of people from all walks of life—from the Harlem arts community to the people from the projects—as well as those from across the city, everyone who contributed funds, opened up doors and who came in to work, paint, and move and shelve the books. And I want to shout out to the students and grad students from Columbia University, CCNY and other schools, to everyone who has pitched in and pulled together to make this possible.

The joy of today's celebration is made so much sweeter by the students from the University of Missouri, including the Mizzou Tiger Football team, who beat Brigham Young University yesterday, which only matters because the Mizzou players put the interests of the people before their athletic careers, inspiring students across the country from Yale to California to stand up against the white-supremacist structures of the universities—students who themselves were propelled into political life by the righteous rising of the youth of Ferguson. Let's recognize too, the 100 families whose loved ones were murdered by police who came to NYC on October 24th for Rise Up October, who stood up in the face of their unimaginable loss and said THIS MUST STOP—and were joined by thousands of people, including voices of conscience and artists like Quentin Tarantino, which unleashed a firestorm of attacks and threats on him from the police and media. To all of these fighters I say, Revolution Books is for you.

And now, join me in welcoming a long-time friend of Revolution Books, a voice of conscience and former prisoner of conscience, a story teller of incredible imagination and beauty who has given the world the gift of taking us inside the lives and experience—the sufferings, the struggles, and the dreams of his country, Kenya—an experience that resonates the world over because of the commonality of life under the domination of imperialism, the billions of lives grotesquely circumscribed, economically, politically, and culturally—making life a living hell—an agony ultimately, and indeed continually, brutally enforced militarily. It tells you a lot about Revolution Books, and lot about this man, that he has come here today to open Revolution Books. Join me in welcoming Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o.


The last time Ngũgĩ spoke at Revolution Books NY we debuted his childhood memoir, Dreams in the Time of War, a memoir of a master storyteller that reads like a novel and which delivers the promise of its title, telling of a person and a people who dream of a better future in the midst of oppression and real horrors.

Today the door opens on this place of truly great possibilities. For Revolution Books is a place of dreams and yes, in a time of war...for everywhere today humanity is besieged. Revolution Books is a place that holds the dreams and the hopes for humanity for a world where no longer will the legacy of the lash of slavery or the noose of lynching be present as it is today in the bullets of the police or the cages of mass incarceration. Where no longer will women fear to walk down the street, be afraid even of her most intimate partner, or have control of her own life and body with the right to decide when and if to have a child taken from her by the state. Where gender will no longer be cause for stigmatization. Where no longer will people across the world fear the buzzing that signals death by the remote-control missiles of terror launched from suburbs of Maryland. Where no longer will tens of millions be driven as refugees from their homes to endure horrific detention camps and face demonization, deportation and worse. Where no longer will the creative potential and spirit of billions of people be crushed by the murderous grinding of imperialism. Where no longer will the planet itself be despoiled.

At Revolution Books the dream of a world that has overcome all forms of exploitation and oppression lives. What is extraordinary at RB is that here people can find the way to make these dreams a reality.

People's lives and dreams, our struggles large and small, are told in the pages of the books at RB. The engagement, dialogues, debate with authors, artists, scientists, front-line fighters, thinkers from the university and around the way; reveal a fertile vein—a deep mine—that reflects and concentrates the rich and complex history and present brutal reality as well as the aspirations and soaring artistic achievements of humanity. It is true that you will find the world at Revolution Books.

But the problems of the world today appear on the surface to be intractable. People are compelled into choices of competing horrors and futures that are no future. Witness the contention between two horrendous forces—the reactionary fundamentalisms rearing their backward path around the world and, on the other hand, the brutal forcible imposition of imperialist modernity... We are seeing this played out in blood in France with the outrageous attacks on innocent people, actions that have nothing to do with liberating anyone, anywhere. And what drives this fury are the imperialist bombs and troops and special ops unleashed from imperialist metropoles with the U.S. at the head of the pack, enforcing the daily robbery and deprivation that is the norm of this system. Humanity needs another way.

Look at the choices and the future of a Black or Latino youth growing up in projects like those two blocks from Revolution Books, whose life trajectory is mapped out by the system before they are even born—where one in three will end up in prison if not shot by the police.

Consider what it means that the first communist-led revolutions of the 20th century were defeated, first in the Soviet Union in 1956 and then in revolutionary China after the death of Mao in 1976. These revolutions began and achieved much in the struggle for people to get free from the thousands of years of oppressive class divided societies. Today, because for 40 years there hasn't been any country that is a beacon of real liberation, political sights around the world seek backward answers or at best are politically low—working on band-aids at the margins of what is today.

This is a time crying out for radical transformation. For a way to breakthrough. For revolution. At Revolution Books, people have the opportunity to discover the work and leadership of Bob Avakian, who today is playing a role analogous to that of Marx in the mid-19th century, piercing the methodological and theoretical fog and limitations of the past; developing a strategy for an actual revolution with a vision and concrete framework for a radically new society and state that is going to work on uprooting all exploitation and overcoming all forms of the oppression of different peoples and nationalities, and genders, and the great division between those privileged to work with their minds and those locked out of the full life of the mind and ideas—forced to toil, from dawn to dusk in manual work. This is a new society where people will be struggling with each other to overcome all the superstition and thinking that reinforces outmoded class and social relations. This too must be a revolution where the whole world comes first.

Most of all, Bob Avakian has brought forward a further development and synthesis of communism as a scientific method and approach—more firmly rooted in understanding reality and working on the objective world as it actually is...discovering the patterns and pathways that are nascent in the acute contradictions that oppress people today and how they are developing and which hold the potential for revolution.

In a world crying out for fundamental change, and many decades after the previous great socialist revolutions were defeated, this is a game changer. At Revolution Books people have the opportunity to experience, engage, and be a part of a movement for an actual revolution that is guided by this scientific method and approach, and the concrete strategy and vision for a new society.

At Revolution Books ideas connect with people. Thinking is explored and challenged. Community is forged by through the process of engaging the big and the hardest questions. There is space here to read and think by yourself, to sip a coffee or a tea. Here people can find a path to begin a process to a life of profound meaning and import, not just for yourself alone, but to be a part of freeing the people of the world. At RB, as I said, if you want to act on what you are coming to understand, you can connect with the movement for revolution and the party which is its leading core. Lives are changed at Revolution Books. Let today's celebration of the opening of Revolution Books be your invitation.

Last week, there was a young man from the neighborhood and two freshman women from Columbia University working in the store and they got to talking with each other about the police brutalizing and murdering people in epidemic proportions. A staff person brought up a quote from BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian where he raises in response to the murder of Tyisha Miller, a woman in Riverside, California who had passed out in her car from a seizure, that in a new society the people's police would sooner give their life than wantonly murder someone like this. Then the discussion was on: is it good cops and bad cops, or is it something deeper and systemic? When they were getting ready to leave, the young man said: "I have never been so challenged in my life while moving heavy boxes to a basement. You know, I think about these things all the time. I know I sound like I'm defending the police, but the truth is I'm more of a target than me being able to change them." The two young women said: "We are so lucky we ran into Revolution Books. We have been looking everywhere on the campus—campus groups—for something radical and we were so disappointed to find nothing! But now we are here where it's really about change and the whole world!" This is what happens at RB: People connect with each other who would otherwise pass in the night. People with different life experiences that normally pull them in different directions find themselves together digging into the biggest questions from the broadest perspective of: Does it have to be this way? Could humanity live differently? Is reform or revolution the solution?

A few days ago I spoke with a graduate student in journalism from South Africa. We only had time to begin a conversation to take apart what it really means for the people of her country that as incredibly historic and important as it was to end institutionalized apartheid in South Africa, without a change in the economic and the political system of capitalism-imperialism, which was then justified and in reality covered over by Truth and Reconciliation Commissions, what this has meant for the masses of South Africans, especially the basic youth, is a life of continued horror, but now without hope. Humanity needs a way out. RB is the place to take the journey to find it.

I have said before that RB encompasses nothing less than the present and the future, and, in a living sense, what we learn from the past. How people understand reality shapes what they do, how they fight back—with what objectives, how they determine friends of the people from enemies, how differences among the people should be taken up now, and in the future, how to fight and how to win—not just the immediate struggle, whether in the streets, the schools, or in the realm of ideology and culture, but how to win in the largest sense, bringing about a whole new society.

As you are figuring out what you think about the new synthesis of communism, your agreements and disagreements, recognize what it means that there is a place where there are the books and the engagement over the biggest questions of what is at the root of the problems humanity faces and the possibility of a radically new world. Without Revolution Books, without this place with its scientific spirit of discovery, the critical thinking, the poetic spirit, and the engagement with revolutionary theory and a broad spectrum of intellectual, cultural, and scientific work, without a place that can connect people to the movement for revolution and its leadership, no matter how heroically people fight, no matter how passionately people expose and denounce the current state of the world, it will stay as it is.

Today we inaugurate the new Revolution Books. It is great to be in Harlem with its rich cultural legacy of Black America...Langston Hughes and James Baldwin, Ellington and Billie Holiday, the creativity on the court of Rucker and the passion and insight of Malcolm X. Harlem has been and remains today a concentration of the foundational oppression of Black people: housing projects run like prisons, militarized police raids stealing the lives in the projects half a mile from here, setting up, framing, and sending the youth to prison. And all this runs smack up against the energy, creativity, and cultural vibrancy of the people and place of Harlem. In recent decades, there is a new diversity of people in Harlem—new immigrants from Central America and Africa, as well as middle-class white people, including students. There's a new energy in the air.

All of this will infuse the new RB. RB is now on the scene—bringing revolution, straight up and all the way—the potential of a radically new world—not just for Harlem but to emancipate people the world over.

Thank you!

See coming events at Revolution Books




Revolution #414 November 23, 2015

French Empire in Mali and Around the World--Slavery, Suffering and Death

November 23, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Editors’ note: This is an excerpt from “French ‘Saviors’ in Mali: World-Class Enforcers of Slavery, Genocide, and Oppression,” published in Revolution February 24, 2013, when France invaded Mali.


Modern France—the proclaimed land of “liberty, equality, fraternity”—was built to a great degree on top of the blood, bones, land, and cultures of the enslaved peoples of a huge region of North Africa and Southeast Asia.

In the 19th and 20th centuries, a tenth of the earth’s surface was colonized by France—an empire that at times ranged into the Americas, the Caribbean, and Asia. The French empire suffered setbacks in North America at the hands of their British rivals and their attempt to colonize Mexico was defeated by Mexican forces in 1867. They were driven out of Haiti when the African slaves rose up against their colonial masters.

But French colonialism was entrenched in North Africa and Southeast Asia. In the later half of the 1800s, the French colonized Indochina—the countries of Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. French capitalists turned vast tracts of forest into rubber plantations. Tens of thousands of Indochinese labored in the plantations under conditions that were described by one worker as “hell on earth.” According to official (and likely underreported) French statistics, 17 percent of the workforce at one plantation died in the year 1927 alone.

By the early 1900s, through wars, alliances with local rulers, and systematically provoking conflicts between different peoples in the region, the French established control over much of North, West, and Central Africa including what are now the countries of Mauritania, Senegal, Guinea, Mali, Ivory Coast, Benin, Niger, Chad, the Central African Republic, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

France didn’t abolish slavery in its African colonies until 1905. U.S. academic David P. Forsythe wrote, “From Senegal and Mauritania in the west to Niger in the east (what became French Africa), there was a parallel series of ruinous wars, resulting in tremendous numbers of people being violently enslaved. At the beginning of the twentieth century there may have been between 3 and 3.5 million slaves, representing over 30 percent of the total population, within this sparsely populated region.”

Today, the French are hailed by the so-called “international community” for saving important cultural artifacts from the jihadists in the fabled Malian city of Timbuktu. But if you are looking for plundered cultural and historic art and culture from Timbuktu, a good place to start would be the many French museums of artifacts stolen from Africa by the French colonial rulers.

The French ruling class and their ideologues—those celebrated icons of enlightenment and bourgeois democracy—justified all this with the crudest racism. In 1886 the French bourgeois republican Jules Ferry declared: “The higher races have a right over the lower races, they have a duty to civilize the inferior races.”

After World War 2, the French waged a counter-revolutionary war of occupation in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos, killing hundreds of thousands of liberation fighters and civilians. After the defeat of the French in 1954, the U.S. took over the imperialist domination of Vietnam and waged its own war against the peoples of Indochina until being defeated in the mid-1970s.

And between 1954 and 1962, France sent 400,000 troops into Algeria to attempt to crush the independence movement. The French forces killed over 100,000 Algerians before being driven out.

The success of liberation struggles, along with the dismemberment of traditional-style empires and the rise of U.S. imperialism, provoked a series of crises for the French ruling class and brought the end—in the main—to formal French colonialism. But what emerged instead was neocolonialism, which maintained the same basic oppressive relationships between France and its (former) colonies, but in the form of nominally independent states.

New and Not Improved Neocolonialism

Of every thousand children born in Mali, 109 die in infancy. By contrast, in capitalist-imperialist countries, the infant mortality rate is in the range of three, four or five children per thousand. Those additional 100 children in every thousand who die in infancy in Mali are direct victims of the workings of imperialism—with the French ruling class the main “beneficiaries” of the brutal exploitation of the people of Mali.

Financial instruments of international capitalism-imperialism like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) impose policies that contort the economy of Mali in service of foreign capitalist-imperialist investment. IMF policies force peasants in Mali to use scarce arable land to grow cotton for export to France instead of food to feed themselves and their children. That, in part, is why 27 percent of the children in Mali are dangerously underweight. And when world market prices for cotton crashed starting in the late 1990s, Malian farmers suffered even more extreme privation, and Mali’s national debts to imperialist financial institutions mounted.

The legacy and present-day operation of imperialism produced the most profound and horrific scars on the economic, political, and social landscape in Africa, including setting the stage for endless fratricidal conflict among peoples in Africa that has been an essential element in colonial and neocolonial domination. France, for example, was deeply involved in provoking and perpetuating the horrific genocide in Rwanda in 1984 that resulted in the killing of between half a million and a million people. A Rwandan commission determined that France helped train the ethnic Hutu militia that carried out much of the killing, helped plan the genocide, and participated in the killings. The report accused 33 senior French military and political officials of involvement in the Rwandan genocide including François Mitterrand, the president of France at the time. The Rwandan report said, “French soldiers themselves directly were involved in assassinations of Tutsis and Hutus accused of hiding Tutsis.” (“Rwanda: French Accused in Genocide,” AP, August 6, 2008)

Such are the genocidal “liberators” of Mali.





Revolution #414 November 23, 2015

Obama After Paris: A Sane and Moral Response?

by Alan Goodman | November 18, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


On November 16, Barack Obama held a press conference in Antalya, Turkey, where he is attending the “G20” Summit. This is a meeting of world economic powers. The terrible November 13 attacks across Paris by ISIS—the reactionary armed Islamist movement now dominating parts of Syria and Iraq—was not on the agenda. But it was all anyone was talking about. As Revolution emphasized immediately after the attacks, “The attack in Paris was aimed at advancing a reactionary agenda by spreading terror. It was cruel and unjust and horrific.” (See “A Terrorist Attack in Paris, a World of Horrors, and the NEED FOR ANOTHER WAY.”)

Bringing Forward Another Way

Bringing Foward Another Way is an edited version of a talk by Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, to a group of Party supporters, in 2006. It is must reading for a serious understanding of what the U.S. "war on terror" is really about and how to bring forward a positive force in the world in opposition to both Western imperialism and Islamic Jihad.

Download PDF

When Obama finished his opening remarks, representatives of ruling class media swarmed like piranhas. They hit Obama with “questions,” like calling on him to address those who say “[Y]our preference of diplomacy over using the military makes the United States weaker and emboldens our enemies.” Or, since “the United States has the greatest military in the world... why can't we take out these bastards?”

It almost seemed like déjà vu all over again—back to the days right after September 11, 2001, when anyone who said anything but “kill them all and let God sort them out” was condemned as a traitor.

At the press conference, Obama punched back—visibly pissed off. He argued that it was not possible or necessary for the U.S. to send 50,000 troops into Syria and every other country from which a terrorist attack is launched. He defended his moves to allow in 10,000 Syrian refugees (out of more than 11 million people displaced by the war).

Afterwards, Obama was denounced by all the Republican presidential candidates. They called him weak and demanded more aggressive military attacks, more fascist repression, and competed with each other to demonize immigrants and openly declare a religious war on Islam. Jeb Bush—the supposed “moderate” in the bunch—was not to be “left behind” in the race to incite Christian fascists and frame this as a clash of “my god is bigger than his god.” Jeb Bush called for the U.S. to make the criteria for refugee status those who “can prove you’re a Christian.”

Compared to the howls of the press, and the Republicans demanding more military aggression than Obama would commit to, and in the wake of the terrible ISIS massacre in Paris, Obama’s stand might seem measured. But let’s examine it.

First, at the press conference Obama reminded anyone who thought he was reluctant to carry out mass slaughter that during his administration, he has launched more than 8,000 air strikes. Obama was not specific about who those air strikes were directed at, but nobody (including him) mentioned the deliberate U.S. bombing attack on a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, on October 3 of this year that massacred a dozen doctors along with patients and staff and destroyed the only surgical hospital in a major city in Afghanistan. So, while he argued for continuing to maneuver diplomatically and pay attention to public relations considerations, his basic message was insisting that a “sustained” strategy was the best and only alternative—which boils down to a grinding, endless, and hellish war.

For a MOMENT—Put Yourself in the Shoes of the Ruling Class

The tense and testy exchanges at Obama’s press conference in Turkey and in its aftermath reflect real crisis and dangers for the U.S. empire in today’s world.

Put yourself, for a moment—repugnant though it is to do so—in the shoes of those whose role in this world is to safeguard, maintain, and project the U.S. empire. They are top dog in a world of the most grinding exploitation. Around the world, they align with junior partners in crime in Asia, Africa, and Latin America who run torture chambers and death squads. The workings of their system, and their wars, drive millions from their homes. They are devastating the environment. In their U.S. “homeland” they are waging a reign of terror against Black and Brown people, and moving to force women to bear children against their will through making abortion—or any form of birth control—inaccessible to millions.

If you pull the lens back, you can see that what is going on right now with ISIS—their brutal and reprehensible attacks in Paris, in Beirut (the capital of Lebanon, where ISIS murdered 43 people and wounded over 200 one day before the Paris attacks), and apparently on the Russian passenger plane on October 31—and the response now coming from the imperialist powers, is part of a whole dynamic in which both of these poles carry out crimes on a daily, hourly basis.

If you took global imperialism out of this equation, the fundamentalist jihadists would be relatively dormant. But the workings of this system around the world have actually breathed life into and generated continuous incarnations of fundamentalist Islam. In part this is because of the way capitalism-imperialism tears up traditional societies from the “top down”—uprooting traditional ways of life while imposing new oppressive norms (for a substantial analysis of this phenomenon and how to bring forward a REAL alternative, see “Why Is Religious Fundamentalism Growing in Today’s World” by Bob Avakian). And the invasions, torture chambers, and drones that enforce all this have fueled the rise of fundamentalist Jihad.

In this situation, one side of the argument within the ranks of the U.S. ruling class insists that any sign of weakness, any sense that the USA will hesitate to invade anywhere, anytime, for any reason, opens the door to unraveling the whole U.S. imperialist setup. And so, insane as it seems, they argue for doubling down and lashing back in unrestrained forms.

The other side argues that if the U.S. strikes at their jihadist foes with all-out invasions—like they did after September 11, 2001—they will unnecessarily drive more and more people into the arms of more and more virulent jihadists. And as a matter of fact, reactionary jihadists openly bank on and want to provoke the U.S. and its allies into doing just that—in many ways actions like blowing up the Russian passenger plane in Egypt, or the attacks in Paris and Beirut (where ISIS massacred civilians in a poor neighborhood that is a base for Islamist forces fighting ISIS), are calculated to elicit a stronger response from “the West.”

Plus, sending large number of U.S. troops into the region, and suffering casualties, is bound to set off domestic conflict within the U.S. that can turn into a real danger for their rule. Obama argues for staying the course. For pressuring other powers and forces to throw more into the conflict; to maintain an endless reign of terror from bombs and drones; to ratchet up big-brother repression; and to continue to wage a war for “hearts and minds” by maintaining a facade of “tolerance” and branding wars for empire as “bringing democracy” to the world—tattered as that is.

A Horrific “Logic of the Logic” of the U.S. and “Global Powers”

Nobody in the “debate” within the U.S. ruling class rules out horrific mass slaughter. A truly chilling article in the November 17 New York Times—representing the outlook of liberals within the ruling class—explored various strategies for how global powers can smash ISIS. One was what the Russians did in Chechnya, which the article explicitly described as “a scorched-earth policy” that included the Russians kidnapping and holding innocent civilians as hostages, demolishing or burning the homes of relatives of suspected anti-government fighters, devastating the capital city of Grozny, and even holding the families of jihadists hostage.

And the article includes a call from the former chief of Israel’s “intelligence” bureau who demanded, “With this enemy, we have to push aside arguments on law, morality and comparisons of security and the rights of the individual. That means to do what they did in World War II to Dresden. They wiped it off the map. That is what has to be done to all the territorial enclaves that ISIS is holding.”

There are no accurate numbers, but civilian deaths in Dresden were at least in the tens of thousands. They were innocent civilians. There was no military value to the U.S. bombing Dresden. The city was swollen with refugees from fighting who were bombed “off the map” along with the city itself. The bombing was an act of massive terror on a monstrous scale. 

The Times article was an obscenely dispassionate exploration of how these ghastly war crimes might be duplicated to smash ISIS. In fact, the bombing launched by France in recent days has essentially begun to implement a strategy of wiping out not just ISIS, but also the civilian population in areas it controls. According to the Times article, when Obama began bombing the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria last year, he did not go after known targets in Raqqa, Syria—the Islamic State’s proclaimed capital—where hundreds of thousands of people live. But in the aftermath of the ISIS massacres in Paris, France is doing just that—bombing Raqqa with U.S. support.

In short, for the U.S. ruling class, the logic of their kill-or-be-killed system has them in a situation where they don’t have any good options. And whatever options they do pursue bring nothing but suffering and death to millions and millions of people.

Obama’s Role, and Record

Let’s be clear: Barack Obama has not mitigated the escalating vicious cycle between Islamic jihad and “the West”—just the opposite. In the actions taken in his capacity as chief executive and commander-in-chief of all this, he has actually contributed to this dynamic in very vicious ways. 

And this is only a beginning list!

Another Way Is Not Only Necessary, It Is Possible

The U.S. rulers’ calculations are those of the defenders of an empire built on genocide and slavery, enforced around the world with endless unjust wars. On the other side of the conflict are smaller-scale reactionaries who aspire to a higher position within that horrible world and who have imposed Dark-Ages ignorance, vicious intolerance, and violent and extreme oppression of women where they are in control.

The interests of humanity lie completely outside these “alternatives.”

Here, we will refer readers to a statement we have up all the time at and in every print issue of Revolution—which we cited in “A Terrorist Attack in Paris, a World of Horrors, and the NEED FOR ANOTHER WAY”:

“It is this system that has got us in the situation we’re in today, and keeps us there. And it is through revolution to get rid of this system that we ourselves can bring a much better system into being. The ultimate goal of this revolution is communism: A world where people work and struggle together for the common good...Where everyone contributes whatever they can to society and gets back what they need to live a life worthy of human beings...Where there are no more divisions among people in which some rule over and oppress others, robbing them not only of the means to a decent life but also of knowledge and a means for really understanding, and acting to change, the world.

“This revolution is both necessary and possible.”

And, as we also say,

“Because of Bob Avakian and the work he has done over several decades, summing up the positive and negative experience of the communist revolution so far, and drawing from a broad range of human experience, there is a new synthesis of communism that has been brought forward—there really is a viable vision and strategy for a radically new, and much better, society and world, and there is the crucial leadership that is needed to carry forward the struggle toward that goal.”

This really IS a way out of the madness, and everyone owes it to themselves, to their fellow humans, and to the future to really engage this. And spread it as you do.

And instead of, and opposed to, self-delusion, blinding oneself to the actual consequences of what any moves by the U.S. will bring to the world, or buying into the immorality of choosing between evils, there must be visible, determined opposition to the war and repression being carried out and now escalated by “your government” on the part of those of us in the U.S., France, and other imperialist countries.

Breaking through to another world, and breaking out of the current vicious cycle requires that people around the world see that the rulers do not speak for us. And that we stand with the interests of humanity.

Read, share online, and print and distribute “A Terrorist Attack in Paris, a World of Horrors, and the NEED FOR ANOTHER WAY.”






Revolution #414 November 23, 2015

Selected Crimes of the World's Greatest Terrorist

November 23, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


After the horrific murders of civilians in Paris, France, for which ISIS has claimed responsibility, the global powers including the U.S. declared they were escalating what they call a “war on terrorism.” But if terrorism is defined by the deliberate targeting of civilians, then there is no match for the record of the United States. The following list of terrorist crimes is only a short selection from the history of the United States and its acts around the world. The fact that this history is not taught in schools, or acknowledged in acceptable discourse, does not mean these things didn’t really happen. Readers are challenged to look these up for themselves.

U.S. Marines walk past bodies of people killed in the U.S. assault on Fallujah, Iraq, 2004.U.S. Marines walk past bodies of people killed in the U.S. assault on Fallujah, Iraq, 2004. AP photo.

Genocide of Native Americans: The United States was built on the genocide of Native Americans and the theft of their land, including the “Trail of Tears” where tens of thousands were driven off their lands in the Southeastern U.S. and forced to march to Oklahoma—of 15,000 relocated Cherokee, 4,000 died on the march.

Invasion of the Philippines, 1899: U.S. troops brutally crushed anti-colonial forces. In the words of Mark Twain, the U.S. “buried them; destroyed their fields; burned their villages and turned their widows and orphans out-of-doors; furnished heartbreak by exile to some dozens of disagreeable patriots; subjugated the remaining tens of millions...”

Atomic Bomb Attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and Firebombing of Tokyo, 1945: 200,000 civilians died, some burned to death on the spot, others of radiation poisoning.

A prisoner being abused in Abu Ghraib prison.A prisoner being abused in Abu Ghraib prison. AP photo

Korea, 1950-1953: Of the U.S. invasion of Korea, U.S. Air Force General Curtis LeMay boasted that U.S. planes “burned down every town in North Korea.” The U.S. used more bombs and artillery shells in Korea than in all of World War 2, and used napalm against military and civilian targets. Three million civilians were killed in the war.

Vietnam, 1965-1975: The U.S. dropped more than seven million tons of bombs on Vietnam and the neighboring countries of Cambodia and Laos before being driven out in 1975, killing an estimated three million Vietnamese.

Somalia, 1993: U.S. Army missiles fired into a crowd from a helicopter killed 100 unarmed people. Villagers’ huts and crops were burned, their livestock killed, bodies of the dead mutilated.

Shooting Down Iranian Civilian Airliner, 1988: The U.S. military shot down an Iranian civilian airplane over Iranian territory (Flight 655), killing all 290 people on board, including 66 children. President George H. W. Bush said, “I’ll never apologize for the United States of America. Ever, I don’t care what the facts are.”

Screenshots from the Collateral Murder video, one of the documents Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning was accused of leaking. The video shows American soldiers in an Apache helicopter in Baghdad, 2007, firing on and killing 12 Iraqi civilians.

Afghanistan, 2001-present: On October 3, 2015, 12 medical staff and at least 10 patients were killed by a deliberate U.S. air attack on a hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan. Before that, thousands of civilians were killed directly by U.S.-led invasion and occupation forces who bombed wedding parties, terrorized Afghans with late-night raids, and locked people up in torture chambers.

Invasion and Occupation of Iraq, 2003-present: Iraq Body Count estimates over 100,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed in the 2nd Iraq war and occupation. The U.S. used cluster bombs, white phosphorous, and depleted uranium against the Iraqi people—war crimes and terrorist acts targeting civilians.

Drone Attacks: In the three years leading up to and during 2009, U.S. drone attacks—from unmanned planes—killed over 700 people, overwhelmingly civilians (including civilians targeted for non-military activities). In some areas, 90 percent of those killed were random killings or “collateral damage.” The attacks continue in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Yemen.







Revolution #414 November 23, 2015

Cheers to Saying No to Channeling Outrage Over Paris into Hateful Revenge

November 23, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


In the midst of mass channeling of outrage over the ISIS attacks on Paris into hate towards immigrants and war fever, cheers to people finding ways to use their access to a large audience or their creativity to go up against this, including:

* * * * * * * * * *

Shortly after the attacks, actor and activist Mark Ruffalo tweeted:

“Don’t allow this horrific act allow you to be drawn into the loss of your humanity or tolerance. That is the intended outcome”.

Don't allow this horrific act allow you to be drawn into the loss of your humanity or tolerance. That is the intended outcome

* * * * * * * * * *

After someone yelled “Muslims suck” during a moment of silence before a Green Bay Packers game, NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers told the media, “I am very disappointed with whoever the fan was who made a comment that I thought was really inappropriate during the moment of silence. It’s that kind of prejudicial ideology that I think puts us in the position that we’re in today as a world.”

* * * * * * * * * *

As hundreds of mourners gathered outside Bataclan concert hall in Paris, where the terrorist attack—claimed by ISIS—killed 118 people, an unknown musician pushed a grand piano with a peace sign outside the hall and played an instrumental version of John Lennon's "Imagine”—a song well-known for lyrics like:

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world...





Revolution #414 November 23, 2015

From World Can't Wait SF Bay Area Chapter:

World Can't Wait Initiates Protest to STOP U.S. War

November 23, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


This originally appeared at

A week after the terrorist attack in Paris, a crucial protest demonstration took to the City Hall steps in San Francisco. Over 40 people held a speak-out and press conference to demand: Break the Silence! No More War on Syria and Beyond! Stop the Air Strikes and Targeted Killing NOW!

As far as we’re aware, this is one of very few such emergency anti-war protests anywhere in the U.S. to boldly say NO to not just the latest air strikes, but to the whole imperialist veil being spun in the wake of Paris to wrap people’s grief and fear into support for escalating the war and the very related heightening of repression and xenophobia. There was emotional applause every time different speakers hit at the fact that American lives are Not more precious than the lives of others, and generally a real hunger for mass opposition to the war based not on what might be best for Americans, but on an internationalism that takes as principal the interests of all of humanity.

The demonstration was called by World Can’t Wait, CODEPINK, and Occupy SF Action Council, and quickly endorsed by Courage to Resist, American Friends Service Committee, School of the Americas Watch (SF and East Bay), Larry Everest (Revolution correspondent and author), and POOR Magazine.

“We came together to call this action because to us it was so clear, so quickly, that the howls from on high for more war and more repression had to be answered in the streets, had to be rejected and refuted by people refusing to go along with any of it. We thought back to 2001 when those artists stood up right after 9/11 saying ‘Our Grief Is Not A Cry for War.‘ And 2003, those worldwide demonstrations of so many millions marching before the U.S. war on Iraq. Whether one hundred or ten million: who’s going to stand up now?” one World Can’t Wait organizer explained.

Leaders of longtime anti-war organizations, activists with roots in the church, people carrying “Rise Up” banners from the Stop Mass Incarceration Network, revolutionary communists with Revolution newspaper and flyers of the recent statement, and School of the Americas Watch veterans gathered. A huge banner simply listed death statistics from countries ravaged by U.S. occupations, invasions and wars since 2001. Beneath the banner lay seven cardboard coffins bearing the names of Middle Eastern countries. And the faces and stories of Syrian refugee children were present in a stark black-and-white photo exhibit.

The small crowd ranged widely in people’s respective politics over what’s the problem and solution—pressure Congress? Elect a president? Revolution?—and over analysis of the political situation inside Syria. Yet a passionate and heartfelt unity got expressed by all the speakers and the entire gathering for standing together to say NO to more of a very illegitimate, very immoral war and to all the justifications and lies “our own” government raises. This unity was based on two demands:

  1. An immediate stop to all U.S./NATO air attacks in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan—and stop all U.S./NATO support for Saudi air attacks in Yemen.
  2. An immediate stop to all U.S. “targeted killing” actions globally, including drone surveillance and drone assassinations, which are all key and active components of U.S. secret ops being carried out in 147 countries this year.

And in and around the unity of this demonstration, and those two demands, everyone at this protest was thinking about a whole lot:

There was a lot of camaraderie in the gathered circle over simply coming out today to stand up together. As the initiating groups argued in mobilizing this action: people can’t merely stay home disagreeing with the war quietly, and it’s not even enough to just be engaging over the Internet: what’s needed is visible, public resistance. “There’s no posting or meme that can replace thousands of people out in the streets,” said one activist (who herself does quite a lot of good political work writing and blogging).

Among the protesters there was a lot of strong feeling over the urgent need to “break the silence,” specifically when Larry Everest hit at the U.S. silence about its own crimes including the bombing of the hospital in Kunduz and the Saudi bombing of a Yemeni wedding party. A Unitarian activist agitated about the U.S. arming and backing the Saudi crimes. The School of the Americas Watch speaker hit at the deliberate creation of fear, a necessary ingredient to silence in the face of injustice. And there was a wellspring of love and support for Chelsea Manning, soldiers who resist, and now especially for the new whistle-blowers, the four former drone operators/technicians who have just gone public denouncing the U.S drone warfare program, who Courage to Resist’s Jeff Paterson spoke about.

Another compelling feeling for everyone was about stopping not only the bombs of war, but the dangers of anti-Muslim bigotry and violence being whipped up. Both toward the refugees—as the Occupy SF Action Council speaker noted, Trump and his ilk are so reminiscent of Nazi Germany and who spoke up back then? And also being poised to respond to reactionary threats, hate campaigns, and worse against Muslim and Arab communities already here. This is an important dividing line of internationalism in morality and principle that matters a great deal today and even more in times ahead.

At different times the point Bob Avakian makes about not being trapped between “the two outmodeds,” BAsics 1:28, had a lot of heads nodding. Why should anyone in the Middle East, the West, or anywhere in the modern world be forced to choose between supporting either imperialism or Islamic fundamentalism? In our times, these are two clashing opposing forces, and supporting either one liberates nobody, only fueling a dynamic that strengthens both of them.

The reading of the November 16 statement from World Can’t Wait was part of kicking off the speak-out, and the strongest response was to some of the same points that Larry Everest got applause for: American Lives Not More Important—refusing to go along with the two outmodeds as all there is—and breaking of the silence, in this case it’s so important that people came out today to be here.

Several people spoke of feeling an intense emotional admixture: feeling proud to be at this first protest, and their relief when they’d seen it announced—but also their fear and frustration at the absence so far of major anti-war outcry. “It’s so unbelievable how deafening this silence is, it’s not like we haven’t been through this before!” said one older woman, looking at the sign “Our Grief Is Not A Cry for Endless War.” “Where is the anti-war movement,” a dedicated peace activist cried out over the mike, “There should be tens of thousands here today!”

The World Can’t Wait SF chapter reported also that : “The shared—and pledged—intent of the 40-some friends who did this action together is that our mobilization may have been the first such protest in the country, but that much more is needed and has to be worked for. Even before we all left the plaza there were a lot of new discussions buzzing as people were sharing ideas and brainstorming new plans. We intend to be contagious.”






Revolution #414 November 23, 2015

In the Aftermath of Paris

Revolutionaries Represent at UIC Demo "Message for the Mourning"

November 23, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

November 17—Approximately 150 gathered in a large circle in the Quad at University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) today at noon for a demonstration called “Message for the Mourning,” sponsored by campus Muslim student groups with Amnesty International, Black Students Union (BSU), and others in response to the attacks in Paris. Perhaps half, or maybe a little more, were Muslim students, with the young women pretty much all wearing head scarves. There were also Latino, Asian, and white students in attendance.

A number of people spoke—they seemed to all be representatives from the various organizations that endorsed the event—but it was a small bullhorn and at times I could not hear what was being said. But from what I did hear, the message was definitely NOT “pro-American.” One speaker specifically called on people not be drawn into seeking revenge against people in the Middle East, and called for peace everywhere in the world. And speakers drew links to injustices that were being fought in the U.S. The head of the UIC BSU got up and said that things have been happening so fast—protesting in support for students at Mizzou on Thursday, and then again on Saturday, and now coming out in support of Muslim brothers and sisters—that he hasn’t had any time to study and he has mid-terms coming up tomorrow. He was anguishing over this—but it was clear that he felt he had to stand up against injustice wherever it occurred.

The program lasted about 20 minutes and then students signed a banner that was laid out in the center of the ring. So I started to pass out the literature I had brought—which proved to be less than what was really needed—but it all went out. I had run off 70 copies of the new article on Paris (“A Terrorist Attack on Paris, a World of Horrors, and the NEED FOR ANOTHER WAY”) and I had another 70 flyers for the November 21 Tamir Rice demo plus 10 Revolution newspapers. People were very open and glad to get both flyers. The Tamir Rice demo flyers were a particularly hot ticket because the last speaker had posed the question “where do we go from here?” in standing together. It seemed like many there had heard Tamir’s name and some knew the details. But quite a few didn’t. When I asked people if they had watched the video of the police murder of Tamir, a number students said that they couldn’t make themselves watch it. But when I agitated about the horror of what the police did to this 12-year-old kid—and that the murdering cops were about to get a pass from the DA—this definitely got people’s attention. The Tamir flyers got out quickly because a significant number of people took more than one—not big stacks, but based on thinking about how many people they knew that they wanted to get one to, they took a few. What struck me was people’s seriousness.

I ended up getting contact info for 14 students, all of whom said they wanted to get connected with the Stop Mass Incarceration Network. And I had a number of interesting talks with groups of students, as opposed to an individual here and an individual there, as has often been in the past. And these were groups of friends who were all into fighting injustice—four young Muslim women, three African (but very Americanized) immigrants, three other young women—two white and one Muslim. There was a sense from the whole event that people were there because they refused to go along with all the horrible things that are taking place—they were choosing the side of resistance.

One of the group of four young Muslim women had just come from a class where they had talked about the Paris attack. The student was upset because a lot of the class had been taking the position that people in the U.S. have to support “our government” in defeating ISIS in order to defend the “freedoms we have in this country.” She didn’t want any part of defending the U.S. government. I asked her if the class was mostly white. She said no—mostly non-white with a lot of immigrants in it. So I asked her what she thought this “freedom” was that needed to be defended. Another student said “opportunity”—I said, “to do what?” A third student said, “To make money.” And they all agreed that was it. I asked them where they thought all this wealth in the U.S.—that people want a cut of—comes from. This made them think. Finally one said, the whole world. I agreed and told them that the U.S. has five percent of the world’s population and had them guess how much of the world’s wealth it consumes. They were going, “I heard that statistic someplace... what was it?” And they knew it was big (over 20 percent)—so we talked about how that happens and soon we were into things they know—the endless U.S. wars, the military bases everywhere. Yet it took a discussion like this for them to really think about how soaked in blood is the “freedom and opportunity” that is dangled in front of immigrants (and others) in this country. They were really thinking about this. We came back to the Tamir demo. They all felt that there was something important starting to happen with students standing up and they want to be part of this. They all also took extra Tamir leaflets, got a copy of Revolution newspaper and gave their info to hook up with SMIN.

In the group with the two white women and a Muslim woman, the Muslim woman said she has been very frustrated because she can’t understand why the young Muslims are turning to Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism. The others said they had the same question. I introduced them to Bob Avakian (BA) and explained how he had been working on this very question for a couple of decades. I went back and briefly explained the revolution in China and what a loss it was for the world when it was reversed. I didn’t spend a lot of time on China, but I did use the example of its great achievements—that a woman in revolutionary China could go anywhere, anytime without fear. This really blew their minds. One said, “You sure can’t do that in Chicago today!” I asked them to think about all the things that would have to be different in a society for just this one thing to be true. Then think about what it meant to lose such a place in the world when the revolution got defeated after Mao died. Then I made BA’s point, referencing a journalist, about how back in the day, all these youths who were now jihadists would have been Maoists. But with no actual revolution in the world today, all these people’s hatred of what imperialism has done to huge hunks of the world gets sucked into this reactionary stuff. So that’s why only a revolution is the way out of this—not picking sides between the U.S. and other imperialists on the one hand and Islamic fundamentalism on the other. They had all heard of Tamir Rice and were really glad that there was a protest. They too got a Revolution newspaper and took Tamir flyers and gave their contact info to hook up with SMIN.

I went up to three Black students—two guys and a young woman. Only after I read their names, did I realize that they were immigrants (at least they all had African names) because they were very Americanized. We talked about the Tamir demo, and one guy in particular was very much into coming on Saturday. I brought up what the BSU speaker had said about there being so many protests breaking out that he had no time for school. These three also had a very strong sense that something new was happening with their generation—and they liked it. They liked the idea of their lives being about more than just “getting ahead”—more about justice and what kind of world do you want to live in. I had my BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! T-shirt on, and one of them asked me what that was all about. So I introduced them to BA. I got out a copy of the book BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian, and the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America to show what he had been doing for 40 years and how there is an actual strategy and program for a real revolution in this country and we are building a movement to do just that. They all gave their contact info and took extra Tamir leaflets, got Revolution and signed up for SMIN.






Revolution #414 November 23, 2015

From Stop Mass Incarceration Network So Cal

3 April 14 Protesters Convicted in LA: No Jail Time—Drop the Charges on Other Protesters!

November 20, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Blocking train in Los Angeles, April 14 Blocking train in Los Angeles, April 14.

On November 19, three young determined fighters to STOP murder by police were each convicted of 3 misdemeanor charges in LA Superior Court. These protestors dared to hit the streets April 14, 2015 to demand cops in the United States STOP murdering people, NOW. They were arrested at the protest by the LAPD.

For standing up to a reign of terror by police in this country, the system responded by targeting them politically, dragging them into court and piling on charges. The multiple charges these protestors faced, and now their trial convictions, are a clear-cut case of political persecution. A serious struggle to overturn these convictions and demand no jail time, and to drop the charges against seven other #ShutDownA14 defendants whose trials start soon, is being mounted.

#ShutDownA14 in Los Angeles was part of nationwide actions to stop police murder, and came at a crucial juncture in this country. At the time of these April 14 actions, the mass U.S. protests following the murders of Michael Brown and Eric Garner had ebbed and the movement that had shaken the country since Ferguson was being attacked and slandered. There was an urgent need to retake the political offensive. These three defendants were part of actions that took place in 30 U.S. cities on April 14. They took the streets with several thousand others nationwide to re-open the road of mass resistance to murder by police of Black and Latino people, who are specific targets of police violence in the U.S. The powers-that-be have zeroed in on those arrested at A14 actions in vindictive prosecutions, as well as a number of other people who were arrested during the powerful upsurge over numerous months, to intimidate any others from standing up to demand police murder must STOP.

Why are we still fighting for justice in 2015?

"Why are we still fighting for justice in 2015?" is a clip from the film REVOLUTION AND RELIGION: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion; A Dialogue Between CORNEL WEST & BOB AVAKIAN. The film is of the November 2014 historic Dialogue on a question of great importance in today's world between the Revolutionary Christian Cornel West and the Revolutionary Communist Bob Avakian. Watch the entire film here.

The trial of these three in LA Superior Court was an outrage. Judge David Fields acted as prosecutor and worked hand-in-glove with City Attorney Jennifer Waxler to paint the righteous protestors as criminals and the police as purveyors of fairness and public order. It’s not a good development that not one juror voted to reject what was clearly a politically-driven persecution aimed at suppressing mass protest against police brutality, murder and mass incarceration.

The protestors were convicted of “trespassing” on Metro Train property in downtown Los Angeles, “failure to comply with a lawful order by police” to leave the train tracks, and “willfully and maliciously obstructing streets and sidewalks” during the protest (for which there was an LA Police Commission approved permit!). The sentencing date for the defendants is December 3, the same day as the one year anniversary of the exoneration of the cop who choked Eric Garner to death.

The protestors face 3 years in jail! Yet, day after day and year after year – thousands of people in the U.S. are killed by police, including hundreds of unarmed people. Ezell Ford, Omar Abrego, Brother Africa, and so many others murdered by the LAPD, and no charges filed against the police responsible for their murders. Tamir Rice – a 12 year old child in Cleveland, murdered... yet no charges. Police are exonerated time after time, even when we ALL see police murders on video. This epidemic of police murdering people, and getting away with it time after time, makes the political convictions that happened in Los Angeles Superior Court on Thursday, November 19th even more unacceptable and outrageous – a legal decision that must be responded to by broad sections of society with anger, condemnation and disgust.

What You Can Do:

Protest this latest act of political repression aimed at the movement to stop murder by police and demand the police who murdered 12 year old Tamir Rice be indicted, convicted and sent to jail as part of nationwide actions on the one year anniversary of Tamir Rice’s murder by Cleveland Police:

Sunday, November 22
65th and Broadway
At the site of the LAPD murder of Ezell Ford

Monday, November 23
12 noon
Los Angeles Superior Court
210 W. Temple St

Call, or send letters to demand NO JAIL TIME for the convicted defendants and to demand DROP THE CHARGES on the remaining seven A14 defendants to:

Mike Feuer, LA City Attorney

Jennifer Waxler, Prosecutor in LA City Attorney’s Office

And please send copies to
And/or call the Stop Mass Incarceration Network So Cal at 213-840-5348, including for info on the upcoming protest actions!





Revolution #414 November 23, 2015

Justice for Laquan McDonald!

Dash Cam Video of Chicago Police Murder to Be Released November 25

Indict, Convict, Send the Killer Cop of Laquan McDonald to Jail, the Whole Damn System Is Guilty as Hell!


November 20, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Laquan McDonald
Laquan McDonald

From a reader in Chicago:

Thursday, November 19—In an overflow courtroom in downtown Chicago, Judge Franklin Valderrama ordered the release of the police dashboard cam video of the killing of Laquan McDonald by Wednesday, November 25. In an 18-page ruling, the judge said that lawyers for the city had failed to prove that making the recording public would jeopardize any ongoing investigation. Judge Franklin Valderrama also rejected the city’s attempts to delay his order pending an emergency appeal.

A year ago, 17-year-old Laquan McDonald was shot 16 times and killed by Chicago police for “refusing to put down a 4-inch knife.” Sixteen times!! And this murder was captured on the dash cam video from a police car. But the City has suppressed the video. The lawyer for the family said the video has not been aired because of the “fear of violent protests.”

The family’s lawyer has described what is seen on the video. Laquan is walking away from police with a small knife in his right hand. “He is not running. He is not lunging. He is walking. Two Chicago police officers jump out of a Tahoe with their guns drawn. Laquan is still walking west toward the sidewalk with a full lane of traffic separating him from one of the officers. One cop opened fire from 12 to 15 feet away. The video shows the 16 rounds hitting Laquan and the bullets making the body jump again and again.”

Bob Avakian, "Yes there's a conspiracy, to get the cops off."

Click here for more about and by
Bob Avakian

“It shocks the conscience,” the lawyer said. “The video was disturbing. It was described accurately by one of the witnesses as an execution. He was on the ground, and the police officer kept shooting.”

An eyewitness to the shooting—who has already testified before a federal grand jury—said, “I was there, I saw it. He (McDonald) wasn’t attacking anybody. He was looking for a way out. He was just trying to turn away. The kid turned away, was dropped at the first shot or two, and the police kept shooting and shooting. You could see his body moving. It freaked me out. It freaked my son out.”

The six cops on the scene, who participated in this execution, and the higher-ups have been lying and covering up and demonizing Laquan from the very first press release when they claimed Laquan lunged at a cop and the cops feared for their lives.

Last April the Chicago City Council voted to approve a $5 million payment to Laquan’s family with the stipulation that the family cannot release the video.

According to the Chicago Tribune, “Valderrama ruled in favor of petitioner and independent journalist Brandon Smith, saying that the police violated state Freedom of Information laws in withholding the dash-cam video. City lawyers said they’d keep fighting. Mayor Rahm Emanuel signaled as much in his abrupt about-face Thursday over the dash-cam video, the one an attorney for the city has acknowledged shows Officer Jason Van Dyke emptying his gun into the 17-year-old. But then, just a couple of hours later, Emanuel reversed course and said he’d release the whole thing to the public.” For a whole year Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Police Department have fought to keep this video murder from the light of day. Now Emanuel is hoping the whole thing can be swept under the holiday rug and that the city can start “healing”—in other words, avoid enraged protests.

Why are we still fighting for justice in 2015?

Fuck Rahm Emanuel, the Chicago cops and the whole system that brings down brutality, terror and murder against the masses of Black and Latino people across this country! The cop needs to indicted, convicted and sent to jail for murder.

The video needs to go viral when it’s released. Millions of people across the country will see this horrendous execution of a Black teenager, shot down in cold blood by the police in a hail of bullets. And millions should be outraged and act with mass resistance to STOP POLICE MURDER.

Rise Up-Stop Police Murder activists and revolutionaries will be out in downtown Chicago for actively boycotting Black Friday, November 27, 12 noon at State and Jackson, and we will be demanding that the cop and all others who have been part of the cover-up of the execution murder of Laquan McDonald be indicted for murder and all the cops who participated in this yearlong cover-up be immediately charged.






Revolution #414 November 23, 2015

Cops, Lies, and Videotape

November 23, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |



Stolen life: Sam Dubose

Sam DuBoseKilled during a traffic stop on July 19, 2015 in Cincinnati, Ohio.

What the cops said:
University of Cincinnati cop Ray Tensing stated that DuBose had begun to drive off and that he was being dragged when his arm became caught in the car, that he was forced to fire his weapon.

What the video showed:
Tensing asks DuBose for his driver’s license and DuBose replies that he has a driver’s license but does not have it with him. Tensing asks, “Are you suspended?” Tensing starts to open the driver’s door and orders DuBose to remove his seat belt. DuBose pulls the door closed, starts the engine, and puts the car in drive. Within the next few seconds, Tensing reaches into the car with his left hand, yells “Stop! Stop!,” draws his pistol with his right hand, and fires once, striking DuBose, killing him instantly. Video clearly shows Tensing was NOT being dragged.

Stolen life: Walter Scott

Walter ScottKilled during a traffic stop on April 5, 2015, in North Charleston, South Carolina.

What the cops said:
Michael Slager, a white North Charleston police officer, radioed a dispatcher right after the shooting, stating, "Shots fired and the subject is down. He took my Taser." In the police report, Slager said he feared for his life because Scott had taken his Taser.

What the video showed:
Slager shoots Walter Scott several times in the back as he is running away. Slager then walks over to Scott on the ground and handcuffs him. He then walks away and goes over to pick something up off the ground; walks back and drops something near the body of Walter Scott.

Stolen life: Tamir Rice

Tamir Rice 12-year-old killed by Cleveland police on November 22, 2014.

What the cops said:
Initial account given by Deputy Chief of Field Operations Ed Tomba, before the video emerged said that:
» Tamir was seated at a table with other people; that as the cops pulled up they saw him grab the toy gun and put it in his waistband.
» Police got out of the car and told Rice three times to put his hands up but he refused.
» Rice then reached into his waistband and pulled out the toy gun, and was then shot and killed by Officer Timothy Loehmann.
» Police described the toy gun as looking real and later explained that the neon tip of the toy gun was missing.

What the video showed:
The video shows the cops driving up, jumping out of their car and shooting Tamir within seconds.
» The video does not show the toy gun in Rice's hands in the moments immediately before the police car approaches.
» The video shows Rice being shot almost immediately after police officer Loehmann exits the vehicle.
» The video shows Tamir did not pull out the toy gun and that he is using both hands to hold his shirt up just before he falls to the ground.
» Police never saw Tamir brandish or point the pistol at them to determine if the orange cap was actually missing or not

Stolen life:
Jason Harrison

Jason Harrison39-year-old Black man who suffered from bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, killed by the police in Dallas, Texas, on June 14, 2014.

What the cops said:
The cops say they "feared for their lives" because Harrison had a screwdriver.

What the video showed:
Video shows cops walking up to the front door. Harrison's mother steps away from the front door and tells the two officers that her son is "bi-polar and schizo." Jason Harrison is standing in the doorway just holding a screwdriver in his hands. The cops tell him to drop it and then within two to three seconds, they start firing at him.

Stolen life: Paul Castaway

Paul CastawayMentally ill, 35-year-old Native American, killed by the police on July 12, 2015 in Denver, Colorado.

What the cops said:
Police say Castaway ran at two officers armed with a knife.

What the video showed:
Video shows that Paul Castaway was holding the knife to his own neck the whole time, until he was shot down and killed by the cops.

QUESTION: How many times have the police LIED about shooting and killing people where videos reveal what really happened? And how many times have the police LIED about shooting and killing people where there is no video?





Revolution #414 November 23, 2015

From Stop Mass Incarceration Network:

For more info:

Stop Mass Incarceration section of this website

Matching Fund Goal Met Thanks to 800+ donations to RiseUpOctober

November 23, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


The last $3,000 challenge grant has been met. The matching donor has given directly to Stop Mass Incarceration Network, bringing the total for crowd funding #RiseUpOctober to $106,296. You may now give directly to Stop Mass Incarceration Network. Thanks, everyone!

Expenses for the 3 days of action to STOP murder by police were not fully covered, and there is much more work to be done. Look for announcements from Stop Mass Incarceration Network on how you can be involved.





Revolution #414 November 23, 2015

From a Group of Readers of Revolución

We met the challenge of raising $1,000 for Rise Up October

November 23, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Reading the letter from the immigrant who donated $1,000 to send families of victims of police terror to New York inspired us to challenge ourselves to match those thousand dollars. We are a circle of Spanish-speaking readers of Revolution newspaper, and usually several of us distribute the paper.

There was only a little time left and we wracked our brains. We are workers who for the most part earn little more than minimum wage; one of us works 12 hours a day 6 days a week for about $5 an hour. So we had to think hard.

One guy said that we are living in an epoch of endless police terror since the 60s which is criminalizing our youth in prisons in deplorable conditions. Genocide against Blacks and Latinos. We need to take up a revolutionary mentality. Another quoted BA in the Revolution talk, where BA talks about how in a different society, the police would be different, they would serve the people and be the people’s servant. In this society the murdering dogs are given a green light to kill, and they have a structure that gets them off free without ever being found guilty. The courts free them and the system protects them. But it is this revolution which is bringing out the nature of this system, the truth about this damn system. A revolutionary movement is being born, many people are opening their eyes to the crimes and the murders by the police.

Based on these and other discussions, several people took more initiative; for example, one woman took responsibility for buying and preparing everything to make tamales, and the rest of us helped put them together. We had a lot of fun making tamales and we managed to raise $360 through sales. With this and other donations, we met the challenge and raised $1,120.






Revolution #414 November 23, 2015

Traumatized by the Police.... And Taking Up the Most Scientific Understanding of Revolution

by Joe Veale | November 23, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


When I was about 9 or 10 years old, my brother and I would play this game we called “strike out.” With tape we would mark out a “strike zone” on the wall of a factory building near where we lived.

When pitching he would dream he was either Sandy Koufax (with the Los Angeles Dodgers) or Bob Gibson (who pitched for St. Louis Cardinals), who were two of the great pitchers in major league baseball during that time.

When batting, he dreamt he was Willie McCovey of the SF Giants or Stan Musial of the Cardinals.

I, of course, would dream of the great pitcher with the SF Giants Juan Marichal—and when batting, one of the greatest ever in major league baseball, Willie Mays, who also played for the Giants.

Well, whenever we would hit a popup foul ball it would generally land on the roof of the factory. There was a step ladder on the building and we would use it to retrieve our ball.

When this would happen, which was frequently, people inside the building would call the police. The police always came. They would accuse us of breaking and entering. In very colorful language we would tell them they were lying and that they knew they were lying.

These encounters would end with the police making accusations and threats and with us saying back: “fuck you!”

A year or two before this, all the kids got into playing this game called “doctor,” where the “doctor” would do a physical on the “patient.” Of course the patient had to undress. I was the eight-year-old “doctor” and my patient was a five-year-old white girl. She told her parents.

The police came and arrested me and my seven-year-old “assistant doctor.” They took us to the police station and interrogated us. No charges. No lawyer. My grandmother was called from work, and she, my friend and his mother were all frightened and traumatized.

We thought we were playing an innocent game that all kids played.

No crime had been committed. We thought we were playing an innocent game but here we were—being threatened with jail time—being traumatized.

A little later we started to go to house parties at night when we were 12, 13, 14-year-olds. Having a good time (showing your latest dance moves) maybe making your first attempts at exploring “a chance at romance.” Innocent kid things. But the police would constantly show up.

Sometimes they would pull the plug and stop the music. They would announce that “the party is over!”

They would roll deep when doing this. Four to a car. Slowly following us—their car lights dim—as we walked to our homes.

There was only so much of this shit you could take. Someone would hurl a brick or bottle crashing the windshield window on the police car.

Some of us would go to jail. Juvenile hall. At school we would ask each other, what did you get busted for? “GP” was the general reply. “GP” was short for general principle.

Later we learned that the police would radio each other that they were responding to a “TNA” and needed back up when making these calls.

“TNA” as we learned later, was police talk for “Typical Nigger Activity.”

Generally when out on Friday or Saturday night looking for a party we would often be stopped and arrested.

There were times I remember, as soon as police would hear my name, they would say, “Yeah, you are going to jail because you hang out with so and so...” and they would take a group of us to jail.

That was the “legal” reason for our arrest. They would strip search us. Turn our pockets inside out trying to find residue of marijuana.

We had no rights they had to respect.

We resisted. We tried to stand up for ourselves—which more often than not meant getting a beat down and made-up charges being put on you.

One night the police shot someone I knew in the back a couple of blocks from my house, murdering him.

The next day they arrested me on a bogus warrant and announced: “We killed your friend last night!” They were still pumped up.

They went on to say that they were really disappointed that when they turned his body over to look at the face that it wasn’t me. They were sure, they said, it was me because it was so close to where I lived and they wanted to kill me so bad, in part because they said I had a “big mouth” and I was unafraid to use it—to speak up for myself, my friends, or anybody who was being abused by the police.

Since this was such a common occurrence, I found myself in constant confrontations with the police.

This is why when Huey Newton, Bobby Seale and Bobby Hutton started the Black Panther Party—and found a legal way to do armed patrols of police abuse, police brutality, police murder and the threat of this—it struck such a deep chord with me.

Because you experienced this shit every single fucking day.

The BPP did more. They pointed to revolution against this system of capitalism as the ultimate source responsible for the oppression of Black people. And as Huey Newton would say: “...we learned that in going out to make revolution, the spirit of the people is greater than the Man’s technology.”

That is why we studied the Red Book of Quotations of Chairman Mao—we were trying to make revolution. Mao’s Red Book was our handbook.

We went as far as our limited understanding would take us.

Today we have a higher, more comprehensive and scientific understanding of the oppression of Black people, Latino people, Native Americans, and immigrants, and the oppression of women, the oppression of gay, lesbian, transgender people, people who are different—and how the wars for empire that are foundational to this system—as is the destruction of the environment—are ALL rooted in this system of capitalism-imperialism.

We have this because of the work done by BA, Bob Avakian. The leader of the revolution. The Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party. We have the handbook of revolution for today’s time, BAsics from the writing and talks by Bob Avakian. Learning from revolutions and socialist societies in the Soviet Union from 1917 to the mid-1950s, and in China led by Mao from 1949 to 1976—learning from the mainly good things accomplished but also the negative—learning from history generally—from various fields of human endeavor—making a new breakthrough in our understanding of the whole process of revolution—involving tens of millions in overturning, defeating, dismantling this system and its instruments of violence—setting up a new economic system—socialism—that meets the needs of the people—a political system that goes along with that—and the further revolutionizing of society and the whole world to a transition to a world of freely associating human beings...communism.






Revolution #414 November 23, 2015

Oakland: Thousands March to Stop Climate Change

November 23, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


From readers in the San Francisco Bay Area

Oakland, November 21: "Defend the Earth!"
Oakland, November 21

Under the slogan “Defend the Earth!” thousands marched and rallied in Oakland, California, on Saturday, November 21 to stop climate change and attacks on the environment that threaten the very existence of life on this planet. The march took place one week before the leaders of more than 190 countries are scheduled to meet in Paris for the U.N. conference on climate change. The leading countries involved, including the United States, are the biggest polluters on the planet and have time and time again refused to do anything meaningful to stop global climate change.

There were people of all ages and nationalities, including a large group of students from UC Berkeley and other colleges, a contingent of youths fighting to raise the minimum wage, teachers, and people from labor unions. Buses brought people to the march from as far away as San Diego.

Oakland, November 21

Revolutionaries from the Revolution Club and Revolution Books store, and supporters of Revolution newspaper participated in the march with the message that capitalism is destroying the planet and we need revolution. We took out copies of Revolution and the statement on the Paris attacks (“A Terrorist Attack in Paris, a World of Horrors, and the NEED FOR ANOTHER WAY”).

An older man we talked to wanted to know what the difference was between the “revolution” that Bernie Sanders represented and the real revolution that we were talking about. We talked with him about how Bernie Sanders is not even talking about destroying capitalism but just trying to make it work a little better.

Many people thought that more radical change was needed. And many had made significant changes in their lives to address climate change. A woman told us that she had quit her job as a teacher because she couldn’t take doing nothing while the planet was destroyed and also because she saw that the educational system was part of a school-to-prison pipeline

A young Black man said that he had been thinking about a revolution and wondered if we could really ever get to a society where one group of people was not dominating another. He had thought about this pretty deeply. We encouraged him to check out the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal) to see how a state in the hands of the people and serving different interests than capitalism can be liberating and serve as a transition to a society without any relations of domination or oppression.

We are in a global environmental emergency and it must be stopped!






Revolution #414 November 23, 2015

Excerpt from AWAY WITH ALL GODS! Unchaining the Mind and Radically Changing the World by Bob Avakian

Religious Fundamentalism, Imperialism and "The War on Terror"

by Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

October 7, 2007 | Revolution Newspaper |


Editors' Note: The following is an excerpt from the book AWAY WITH ALL GODS! Unchaining the Mind and Radically Changing the World, by Bob Avakian (available from Insight Press). The book was published in 2008.


Here it is important to answer the argument that is not infrequently made—including by people whose stance is to oppose religion in general—that while all religious fundamentalism is bad and harmful, there is something particularly evil and dangerous about Islamic fundamentalism. This, for example, is the position of Sam Harris, author of The End of Faith: Religion, Terror and the Future of Reason and Letter to a Christian Nation; and it is the stand rather obviously and quite aggressively insisted on by Christopher Hitchens, whose recent book, and in a concentrated way its title, God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, encapsulates the contradiction I am speaking to here. On the one hand, as expressed in the secondary part of the title, Hitchens' book is a broadside against religion in general; but the first, and main, part of the title involves—and is no doubt meant to involve—a very definite salvo directed against Islam in particular: it is a "negative echo," so to speak, of the common Islamic invocation: God is Great. It is not hard to see how this position dovetails rather neatly with that of the Bush regime and the U.S. imperialists in general with their "war on terror" and its declared target of "Islamic extremists."

To begin with, from what has been shown so far, it should be very clear that, with regard to the scriptures and the religious tradition of Christianity there is no basis for arguing that it is, in any fundamental or essential sense, different from or better than Islam. Any attempt to take this up and apply it—and still more to impose and enforce it—in a literalist sense, insisting that it is the "inerrant word of God" which must be followed to the letter, as the Christian fundamentalists do, can indeed only lead to horrors of the greatest magnitude. Once more, all this is something which humanity needs to move beyond and forever leave behind.

Perhaps in recognition of the reality that there is nothing to choose between Islamic fundamentalism and Christian fundamentalism, as such and on the level of the literal word, a common component of the position that somehow Islamic fundamentalism is worse than fundamentalist Christianity is the argument that, yes, the latter may be just as awful in its content, but particularly in a country like the U.S.—where it is increasingly hard to ignore or deny that Christian fundamentalism is a major phenomenon—the effect it can have and the danger it poses is restrained and mitigated by the fact that one of the pillars of Constitutional government in this country is the separation of church and state. Well, first of all, that separation, while real, has always been anything but absolute; and, moreover, it is a separation that is under concerted attack by the Christian fundamentalists and powerful forces in the ruling class representing, or allied with, these fundamentalists (while the sections of the ruling class that are not themselves advocates of this religious fundamentalism are at great pains to compromise and conciliate with it and to promote religion in public life—witness, as just one example, the repeated professions of profound religious faith on the part of every major candidate for the Democratic Party presidential nomination). The danger posed by theocratic Christian Fascists—and the lack of any real ruling class opposition to this—is very real. And this assault on the separation of church and state has not at all been rendered toothless, or strategically weakened, by the fact that Bush has become an extremely unpopular president.1

Generally speaking (although not uniformly so) it is true that in the parts of the world where Islam is the dominant religion, there has not been the same phenomenon of a bourgeois-democratic transformation of society that has occurred in countries like the U.S., in which one of the main aspects of that transformation has been a (relative) separation of church and state. The prevailing, and institutionalized, doctrine and tenets of Islam reject a separation between religion, on the one hand, and politics and the law, on the other hand, as well as between religion and what is generally referred to as "civil society". But that has been true of Christianity, and the states where Christianity has been the dominant religion, for most of their history—and it is only a relatively recent period, historically speaking, that has seen a change in this, through the kind of bourgeois-democratic transformation to which I have referred. And it is important to recognize that, as a rule, it is those countries which have undergone such a bourgeois-democratic transformation, as part of the emergence and triumph of the capitalist system, which have developed into imperialist powers, and whose imperialist conquest and domination of countries throughout the Third World, including those where Islam is the dominant religion, has been a major factor in obstructing, in those countries, the kind of transformation that would involve the separation of church and state. The relative "backwardness" of those Third World countries has repeatedly been invoked as justification for colonialism and imperialist conquest. And, in turn, this imperialist conquest and exploitation, with all the consequences it has led to, including the installing and backing of corrupt and tyrannical "local governments" and the devastation of much of the way of life and the living conditions of the large majority of the population, has actually strengthened tendencies which identify ideas associated with "the West"—such as the progressive aspects of the Enlightenment, with its spur to critical thinking, its challenging of religious dogma, and its contribution to the separation of politics from official religion—as alien and antagonistic to the needs of the people.

This speaks to the argument that is also frequently raised that, even if it is true that the ideas embodied in Christian fundamentalism are every bit as bad as those of Islamic fundamentalism, there is a great difference in that Christian fundamentalists do not go around blowing up people and buildings and generally engaging in terrorist activity, while such activity is common among Islamic fundamentalists. Besides the fact that Christian fundamentalists have indeed engaged in acts of terror, including within the U.S.—such as the bombing of clinics where abortions are performed and the murder of doctors who perform abortions—and that Christian fundamentalist forces are being "primed" to carry out reactionary violence on a much greater scale, should that be deemed necessary by those for whom they are in fact being readied as shock and storm troops—there is the reality that, up to this point, violence which serves ends that are passionately supported by the Christian Fascist fundamentalists has been carried out on a massive scale by the imperialist ruling class of the U.S., utilizing the armed forces and police of the imperialist state—with more of that violence currently being threatened (such as an attack on Iran, in addition to the wars presently being waged in Iraq and Afghanistan). And one of the distinguishing features of those armed forces in this period is precisely that they are being increasingly influenced by, and even indoctrinated with, a fundamentalist Christian Fascist outlook, from the top levels of the military on down.2 Therefore, up until now at least, there has not been a need or compulsion among Christian Fascist fundamentalists to engage in terrorist activity and reactionary violence on a large scale, separately from the "official" armed forces and police of the ruling class—although, again, it has certainly been carried out by Christian Fascists on a smaller scale and there is definitely the potential for this to be carried out on a much wider scale.

All this, once again, is a reflection of the "lopsided" relations of a world which is dominated by a handful of imperialist countries, and one imperialist superpower in particular at this time, while the great majority of countries, and of people, in the world, and particularly in the Third World, endure extreme conditions of poverty, exploitation, massive dislocation and upheaval—all enforced on the basis of imperialist rule.

In today's world, a particular expression of these contradictions is the mutually reinforcing opposition between imperialist globalization and its effects, on the one hand, and Jihadist Islamic fundamentalism on the other hand. Utilizing a phrase (actually a book title) from Benjamin R. Barber, who refers to the phenomenon of "Jihad vs. McWorld," and expanding on this to include the element in which Christian Fascist fundamentalism is in fact a significant element within the prevailing program and ideology of the imperialist ruling class of the U.S., I have put it this way:

What we see in contention here with Jihad on the one hand and McWorld/McCrusade on the other hand, are historically outmoded strata among colonized and oppressed humanity up against historically outmoded ruling strata of the imperialist system. These two reactionary poles reinforce each other, even while opposing each other. If you side with either of these 'outmodeds,' you ended up strengthening both.

This speaks precisely to what is wrong with the position that somehow Islamic fundamentalism is worse than Christian Fundamentalism and to how that position lends support to the "historically outmoded ruling class of the imperialist system." And, as I have also emphasized in relation to these "two outmodeds":

it is important to be clear about which has done and continues to do the greater damage, which has posed and does pose the greater threat to humanity. Clearly, and by far, it is "the ruling strata of the imperialist system."

It is interesting, I recently heard about a comment that someone made relating to this, which I do think is correct and getting at something important. In relation to these "two historically outmodeds," they made the point: "You could say that the Islamic fundamentalist forces in the world would be largely dormant if it weren't for what the U.S. and its allies have done and are doing in the world—but you cannot say the opposite." There is a profound truth captured in that statement.

As a matter of general principle, and specifically sitting in this imperialist country, we have a particular responsibility to oppose U.S. imperialism, our "own" ruling class, and what it is doing in the world. But, at the same time, that doesn't make these Islamic fundamentalist forces not historically outmoded and not reactionary. It doesn't change the character of their opposition to imperialism and what it leads to and the dynamic that it's part of—the fact that these two "historically outmodeds" do reinforce each other, even while opposing each other. And it is very important to understand, and to struggle for others to understand, that if you end up supporting either one of these two "historically outmodeds," you contribute to strengthening both. It is crucial to break out of that dynamic—to bring forward another way." (See Bringing Forward Another Way)


1. Besides what I, and our Party generally, have been doing to call attention to and build opposition to Christian Fascism, a number of others have also, from various points of view, been giving emphasis to the dangers posed by right-wing Christian fundamentalists. See, for example, American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America, by Chris Hedges; The Baptizing of America: The Religious Right's Plans for the Rest of Us, by Rabbi James Rudin; The Theocons: Secular America Under Siege, by Damon Linker; Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism, by Michelle Goldberg; With God on Their Side: How Christian Fundamentalists Trampled Science, Policy, and Democracy in George W. Bush's White House, by Esther Kaplan; and Contempt: How the Right Is Wronging American Justice, by Catherine Crier. [back]

2. Regarding the influence of Christian Fascism within the U.S. military (and in particular its higher ranks), in addition to the continuing exposure and analysis of this which is found in Revolution newspaper (available at, see for example Making the Corps, by Thomas Ricks (Scribner, 1997), and Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War, by Mark Bowden (Atlantic Monthly Press, 1999)—both of which were written before the advent of the Bush Presidency which has been marked by an increasing growth of and support for Christian fundamentalism within the U.S. military. Also, a very relevant phenomenon in regard to all this is the emergence of “private” military organizations, such as Blackwater, which has played a very significant, and very brutal, role in the U.S. occupation of Iraq, as well as within the U.S. itself—for example, New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. And it is worth noting that Blackwater itself is characterized by a fundamentalist Christian Fascist worldview and ethos. [back]





Revolution #414 November 23, 2015

As Abortion Clinics Are Forced to Close...

Hundreds of Thousands of Texas Women Attempt Self-Induced Abortion

November 23, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Download the PDF of this pamphlet: A Declaration: For Women's Liberation and the Emancipation of All Humanity

The state of Texas has been on the leading edge of the war on women’s right to abortion. In 2013 the governor signed HB 2, a bill forcing major, medically unnecessary, restrictions on clinics providing abortions. These measures forced over half of the state’s abortion clinics—23 of the then-existing 41—to close. There are now 18 clinics in this state, serving the six million women of child-bearing age. New restrictive measures that would close another nine of these clinics are being contested in the courts, and the U.S. Supreme Court will rule on those measures this session. If they are upheld by the Court, the entire city of El Paso, with over 800,000 people in its metropolitan area, will have zero abortion providers!

Now there is evidence documenting the tremendous consequences that these attacks are already having, and will increasingly have, not only on women in Texas, but women across the U.S., where similar restrictions on abortion are being implemented or are in the pipeline.

Resist attacks on abortion rights!

Get involved with or email

A study by the Texas Policy Evaluation Project (TxPEP) at the University of Texas has revealed that between 100,000 and 240,0001 Texas women of childbearing age have already been forced to opt for self-induced abortion because of the growing difficulty of finding, traveling to, and paying for abortions at clinics.

The women described a variety of abortion methods. Along the Texas border, many, particularly Latinas, obtained misoprostol from pharmacies in Mexico, where (unlike the U.S.) it is available without prescription. Misoprostol induces miscarriage. It is an effective means for medical (non-surgical) abortion; however, taking it without supervision from or access to a doctor can be scary and potentially unsafe. But because abortion has been criminalized and stigmatized, most of the women who used misoprostol were afraid to even tell a doctor about it, even when they were in fear of what was happening, or had doubts about whether the abortion had been successful. One woman reported, “I read something, you know, that you’re not supposed to do an abortion outside the clinic or you’ll go to jail or something. And so I was really scared to go back to a doctor and tell them that I wasn’t pregnant anymore.”

Break All the Chains!

Break ALL the Chains!
Bob Avakian on the Emancipation of Women and the Communist Revolution

Sampler Edition | Full Work

Imagine what it is like to go through this at home, and being unable to even consult with a doctor! A 24-year old woman in the TxPEP study described her experience:

“It started off slow and ...went from zero to sixty real quick and it was just like really painful, intense cramping. It was the worst cramping I’ve ever had and probably one of the worst pains I’ve gone through. And there was also the fact that I’m doing it at home, we’re not—though we have all of the information as to how much bleeding is too much bleeding, you know, or that, there’s always that slight uncertainty of like I don’t really know what I’m doing.”

Other women used methods that were either completely ineffective (various herbal remedies) or outright dangerous, such as being punched in the abdomen.

Why did these women try to self-induce, rather than go to a clinic? During more in-depth interviews with 18 women, every one of them said they wanted to go to a clinic and tried to do so, but it was not possible under their circumstances. Because of the tremendous restrictions already in effect, women found that the clinic in their area had closed, that the wait for an abortion was as long as four weeks, that the costs were as high as $1,200, that they would have to travel for hundreds of miles, or other obstacles that forced them to try and self-induce at home.

A 24-year-old woman in the Rio Grande Valley said: “I didn’t have any money to go to San Antonio or Corpus. I didn’t even have any money to get across town. Like I was just dirt broke. I was poor.”

This study gives an alarming window into what is happening right now to millions of women, and what tens of millions will confront if the escalating attacks on abortion are not beaten back and turned around.

1. TxPEP asked women if they themselves had tried to self-induce an abortion; 1.7 percent had, which translates into 100,000 for the state as a whole. Because of the stigma around abortion, it is known that people underreport their own abortions. So TxPEP also asked if “your best friend” has ever self-induced an abortion. 2.8 percent said they knew for sure, and 1.3 percent said they suspected she had, or 4.1 percent total. This translates into 240,000 statewide. Because of the many “suspected”—meaning they were not certain—abortions, the figure on self-induced abortions is calculated as somewhere between the high and low end, but probably much closer to the higher figure of 240,000.







Revolution #414 November 23, 2015

Pig Enforcers Terrorize Children

by Joe Veale and a member of the Los Angeles Revolution Club | November 23, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Check this shit out: In Flint, Michigan, a young woman—Chrystal McCadden—gets a call from the school her seven-year-old attends. When she gets to the school she sees that her son—Caden—has been placed in handcuffs by the police who were called to the school to “discipline” this child.

Allegedly, little Caden was being “disruptive.” Apparently this was the “sign” of a “thug”—a potential “menace to society.”

Chrystal was furious and demanded that they take the handcuffs off Caden.

In the most care-free way, the pig said he had lost the keys, prolonging the dehumanization—the terror—for both mother and son. Leaving a mark on their consciousness that will be impossible to erase.

Their humanity meant nothing to the police.

Apparently Caden has ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). He was acting out as ADHD kids often do. But instead of giving him some TLC and the room to act out, the police treated Caden as a criminal.

Earlier this year, the same thing happened to five-year-old Michael Davis in Stockton, California. He was put in zip tie handcuffs—hands behind his back, and his ankles were also put in zip tie handcuffs. Again police were called to the school to discipline a “disruptive” five-year-old! What five-year-old is not “disruptive”?

When the pig reached to put his hands on Michael, he allegedly pushed the pig’s hand away and kicked him. For this Michael was cuffed, charged with battery on a police officer. Then they put him in the pig car and took him to the psychiatric ward at the local hospital.

A judge later dismissed the battery charge against this five-year-old “criminal.”

An interview with a former prisoner in Revolution newspaper—and who is now a revolutionary communist and fighter in the struggle for the emancipation of humanity—talks about being nine years old when the police put his five-year-old brother in a chokehold for throwing rocks at other kids.

Is anyone surprised that the people I’m describing are Black? Generally among the section of people who are at the very bottom, right at the base of this capitalist-imperialist system?

Check it out: In California the pigs have a gang database that they add names and profiles to during what they call “routine” stops. They practically boast that kids as young as TEN are routinely added to this database. Every major city in the United States has some version of this kind of program.

When we see the police murder of 12-year-old Tamir Rice, 13-year-old Andy Garcia, or Walter Scott in South Carolina, Antonio Zambrano-Montes in Washington, Eric Garner in NY, Michael Brown in Ferguson, Freddie Gray in Baltimore, their murder by the police is generally the culmination of the howling horror of a lifetime for a section of people who are abused, racially profiled, degraded, dehumanized by the pig enforcers of a system that views such people as a powder keg—as potential social dynamite.

It is up to us to develop them, together with other sections of the people—into what Bob Avakian (BA), the leader of the revolution and Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, says: “a part of the human saviors of humanity; the gravediggers of this system and bearers of the future communist society” [BAsics 3:16]—a whole new society and world of consciously, freely, cooperating human beings.






Revolution #414 November 23, 2015

November 21, 2015

Stanford Students Sit In, Demand University Divest from All Fossil Fuels

by Larry Everest | November 23, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


An important struggle took place at Stanford University in the San Francisco Bay Area this past week, pointing to both the growing wave of campus activism and real challenges facing the movement for revolution.

Sit-in at Stanford University demanding full divestment from fossil fuels
Students at Stanford University camped out all week demanding that Stanford divest from all fossil fuels. (Photo: Fossil Free Stanford website)

Starting Monday night, November 16, some 100 students staged a sit-in/encampment outside the office of university president John Hennessy demanding that Stanford, which has an endowment of over $20 billion, divest from all fossil fuels. They camped out all week, defying university threats and drawing very broad support on campus and beyond. They ended their sit-in on Friday after meeting with the president, during which he agreed to bring their demands to the Board of Trustees. There has not been an action like this at Stanford, an elite private university, in many years.

The encampment, which grew out of an ongoing divestment campaign—“Fossil Free Stanford”—began on Monday when some 100 students gathered in front of the administration building and demanded to talk with Hennessy. When they were instead blocked by university police, they decided to sit in. That day another 300 students joined them to march and rally.

“A Very, Very Dramatic Move to Make”

Stanford University sit-in calling for divestment from fossil fuels

Stanford University sit-in calling for divestment from fossil fuels
Stanford University sit-in and call demanding university divestment from fossil fuels. (Photos: Revolution/

I talked with two of the student organizers on Thursday about the encampment and their own involvement.

One, a freshman, described two “turning points” that spurred him and others to sit in. First, he’d been “very excited” about the Board of Trustees’ May 2014 decision to divest from businesses using coal, but that “was overshadowed by the fact that when we pulled out of coal, the largest two investments were made in the oil and gas industry. So then our ‘ask’ has changed to full divestment from fossil fuels.” The other “huge takeaway from the meeting with Hennessy was that they were comfortable investing in fossil fuels because they were comfortable burning them in their cars. That hurt us a lot because we’re so passionate about the environment.”

The students described what a big step sitting in at Stanford has been for them and other students. “This is a very, very drastic move to take. Camping outside the president’s office is a very controversial move, but we feel we’ve explored every avenue we can and have nowhere else to go,” the freshman said.

The other student, a junior, put it this way: “Stanford is full of very high-functioning people who’ve gotten to where they are by following the rules and doing things right in their own lives, and it’s worked so far. So I think this action is huge in taking us, who have gone about making change and achieving in a very structured way, and pushing us a bit.”

Another student told the Stanford Daily, “[F]or the first time, I’m not just doing what I’m told but doing what I think is right.”

Resisting University Threats

Tuesday morning the students received a letter from the university administration warning them that their encampment violated university rules and the student “code of conduct” by impeding business in the Administration Building. The students disagreed, and instead sent an open letter to Hennessy and the Board of Trustees turning the language and framework of the warning letter into an indictment:

“In order to comply with Stanford University’s mission and Fundamental Standard, you must immediately divest from the rest of the fossil fuel industry. The student body and Stanford community are instructing you to do so,” the students wrote. Pointing to the environmental implications of refusing to divest, the students asked, “Can you accept the consequences of your own inaction?” They told the university administration that they would not move the encampment: “This movement is not going away.”

The administration also warned students that they had until 5 pm Friday, November 20, to end their encampment or face possible trespassing charges. The students again refused (and we saw that many had the phone number for legal help in case of arrest marked on their arms).

Sparking Broader Support and Engagement

Before the sit-in, support had been building for divestment from fossil fuels. According to Fossil Free Stanford:

“Over 239 Stanford students and faculty have pledged to engage in direct action unless the University divests from oil and gas; More than 3,200 students, faculty, alumni, and community members have expressed support for the cause; Last year, 75% of the Stanford undergraduate student body voted in favor of fossil fuel divestment; More than 379 Stanford faculty have co-signed a letter calling on the administration to divest; The Associated Students of Stanford University (ASSU), representing the undergraduate population, and the Graduate Student Council have both passed resolutions in support of fossil fuel divestment.”

The encampment of inflatable air mattresses and tents pitched in the corner of the main Quad, outside the administration building, became a focal point sparking broader involvement and debate. Some protesters stopped attending classes at all, many with support from their professors. The Stanford Daily reported that during the week, there had been 30 teach-ins and more than a dozen relocated classes, including Antigone and Social Dissent, Politics and Justice in Carbon Accounting, and Black Lives Matter and Student Activism.

The student organizers told us the Stanford Collaborative Orchestra had performed their work “El Niño,” a compilation of Handel’s Water Music suites, and that following a performance in Memorial Church (across the Quad from the encampment), the Stanford Choir had come over and done a performance for them. Many campus groups and organizations had come and written statements of support. There had been near-daily rallies. When we were there, some 125 students rallied along with 20-30 alums (who stated they wouldn’t donate to Stanford until it divests). While we were talking to the organizers, a tour group of high school students led by a Stanford student walked by. They stopped and loudly chanted: “What do we want? Climate justice! When do we want it? Now!” There were students clustered in small groups talking, hanging out, or sitting alone doing homework.

The encampment organizers were also supporting other actions on campus such as Tuesday’s rally “to uplift Muslim and Arab voices in the wake of Islamophobia following the Paris attacks,” and Wednesday’s #StudentBlackout rally supporting students protesting racism at campuses across the country.

The global impact of the environmental crisis was represented in an installation/art project near the encampment. It aims to “shine a spotlight on the high profile cases of global communities that have been directly affected by the negligence of the fossil fuel industry,” an involved student told the Stanford Daily. The piece focuses on Chevron’s oil spill in Ecuador, sea-level rise in Tuvalu, and the California drought. “[The project] really brings the moral issue to the absolute forefront,” she said.

Upsurge in Campus Protest & Activism

When I’d been on the Stanford campus several years ago, in the aftermath of the Occupy protests, a student told me that the only thing that drew crowds of students were networking meetings to develop new apps and the like. But there has been a definite upswing in campus protests and activism over the past couple of years. A number of the students we talked with said it was their first protest ever, so I asked the student organizers about that.

They cited several things. First, according to the junior, there was a “feeling of momentum on campus, that activism is OK, that it’s exciting, it’s necessary. This was unheard of for a long time here and this sit-in would never have happened five years ago. When Stanford divested from coal, people looked around and said, ‘I’m not the only one that cares.’ There’s a narrative that we are winning, even though it doesn’t seem like it most of the time. I could get behind that.

“Then there was Ferguson, the Stanford 68 [students arrested this past January for blocking the San Mateo Bridge], and organizing around Black Lives Matter. There’s a growing sense of urgency about the world outside of Stanford. Stanford is so insulated, so comfortable, the pull of complacency is so strong. It’s nice to have a great day here, but so many others are living in a very different reality and we can’t let that go by.”

The freshman added, “Very recently, one of the reasons [for rising activism] is the sheer number of events going on in the world right now: Black Lives Matter, LGBT issues, and so much else going on right now it’s impossible to ignore. There’s a rally every other day in White Plaza [at the center of campus], and people are starting to feel there’s change coming in our community and its coming very, very quickly and their hopping on board.”

Other students told us they’d been moved to take a stand by the growing climate emergency. One joined when he’d “overcome the inertia of feeling there’s nothing you can do at Stanford, that it would never divest.”

Big Openings, and Challenges for Revolutionaries

Special Issue of Revolution on the Environmental Emergency

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

Read online....

Also available in brochure format (downloadable PDF)

So there’s something new developing on the Stanford campus (and others!) in relation to key issues of the day. There’s a real awakening and a real moral dimension of students refusing to simply “do what they’re told,” but instead getting out of their comfort zones and taking a stand for what they see as right. This is very important.

At the same time, their understanding of the problem and the solution is, at the moment, confined within the system’s boundaries. We caught discussion of personal responsibility and consumerism as being key; about climate change being a social justice issue, and “the intersectionality of environmental degradation, ethnicity and class;” about “change systems of power and the power dynamics on campus.”

One of the students responded to my question about revolution and communism like this: “It’s difficult to convince people on communism so at some point we may have to accept capitalism is inevitable and we have to work within that, making clean energy cheaper and more available, and work through our government. There’s a growing acceptance that ‘radical’ isn’t such a bad thing, and as things change more people will be receptive to that. But maybe we can’t get rid of capitalism but we can erode its worst aspects. Any talk of revolution right now is not politically feasible, but then we’re doing our own revolution here on campus.”

My sense was that these students aren’t locked in position or firmly wedded to other trends, so much as questions of capitalism, revolution and communism have been off their radar, very few seemed to have seriously engaged deeper questions like the nature of capitalism, can it solve the environmental catastrophe, or will it take revolution and an entirely different economic and political system to do that.

At the same time, we found real openness and curiosity. People were interested in our materials (including “ATerrorist Attack in Paris, a World of Horrors, and the NEED FOR ANOTHER WAY”and “Which Side Are You On? STATEMENT OF SUPPORT FOR UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI STUDENTS FROM CARL DIX,” and many were glad we’d come down. A number said that there should be more discussion of alternatives to the current system.

One of the student organizers told me, “McCarthy did a great job of making communism and socialism dirty words, and I think that sucks because it means it’s not a political reality for a lot of people to make alternatives to capitalism a part of their rhetoric.”

When I suggested I do a teach-in on the climate crisis, revolution, and BA’s new synthesis, the freshman I was talking with said with real enthusiasm: “That would be great!”

“We’ll Escalate and Take Direct Action till University Divests Fully from Fossil Fuels”

Student organizers don’t expect the Board of Trustees to grant their demands, and say their struggle for full divestment from fossil fuels is far from over. One organizer said students left the Friday meeting with Hennessy “determined and hopeful, but also very frustrated and not very proud of our university... But we are very proud of our students.” One of their goals, he said, was “to declare that the student body will not be complicit with fossil fuel investment.”

Another told the Stanford Daily that although the sit-in was over, Fossil Free Stanford “will continue to escalate and take direct action until the university divests fully from fossil fuels.”






Revolution #414 November 23, 2015

Castlemont High Students Walkout to Protest Murder by Oakland Police

November 23, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


From readers in the Bay Area:

On Tuesday, November 17, more than 100 Castlemont High students in East Oakland walked out of school to protest the police murder of Richard Perkins, two days earlier. This walkout was the latest in a number of recent high school student actions in the San Francisco Bay Area. In previous weeks, in the neighboring city of Berkeley, students had two walkouts, demonstrating against school administrators’ inaction to a message on the library computer system—a KKK boast of plans to lynch a Black person on a specific date in December.

Castlemont High is predominantly Black and Latino, and sits in locked-down and distressed “Deep East Oakland,” where police maraud like an occupying army, and where youth have very little hope of a future. This defiance was significant and students we talked to were very proud of what they did. Even before, they had been following the murder and upsurge in the case of Michael Brown and Eric Garner; and some even pointed back to the outbreaks from the murder of Trayvon Martin, when they were freshmen. This murder of Richard Perkins was something that “hit home,” propelling them into action. Some Castlemont students were in the area when Richard was killed. They spread the word in classes on Monday. A student organization called “Student Union” organized the protest for the following day, over the displeasure of the school principal. They made signs and marched the half-mile to the spot of Richard’s killing, chanting “Stop police brutality” and “No justice, no peace.” They didn’t buy the pig version of the killing, as reported in the news. Afterwards, students and friends of Richard told us about how things unfolded during the weekend that set the stage for Richard’s murder by police.

On Sunday, November 15, the Oakland police were in chaos, trying to suppress an “outrageous” Oakland “Sideshow.”1 Up to 700 cars and motorcycles from as far away as Fresno, San Jose, and Los Angeles converged, shutting down numerous street intersections and a portion of Interstate 880, doing donuts and kicking up clouds of smoking rubber from the tires of all manner of vehicles, from jacked-up big rim floaters, to family sedans and motorcycles. Police were quoted in news accounts saying people threw rocks and bottles at a squad car.

At one point Oakland police, Alameda County Sheriffs, and California Highway Patrol encircled suspected participants and onlookers alike, busting people, writing tickets and towing motorcycles. Cops were pissed, they had been made fools of all day, but now they were “in control” and definitely wanted to let people know it. It was against that backdrop that Richard Perkins was shot and killed by police. “I just heard pow, pow, pow, pow, pow, many shots,” said a witness. “He wasn’t doing nothing!” said another.

Richard, a 39-year-old truck driver, was the father of two children. He loved his community and helped at his church. Richard was not a participant in the sideshow, but was attracted by his love of motorcycles. His mother told us fondly how Richard loved to work on bikes, “but could never keep his running long enough to ride it.”

Police claim that Richard walked toward them pointing a “replica” gun at them, so they had to shoot. Four cops opened up on Richard. Holes from high-powered police bullets ripped into cars and the nearby gas station, and Richard was murdered on the spot. Later, Oakland police produced what they are calling the “replica weapon,” and the Oakland police chief said, “Officers were shocked when they found out it was not in fact a real firearm.”

Some of the Castlemont students told us that there was nothing in Richard’s hands, and that when he saw the cops aiming at him, he lifted his shirt and held his hands up and yelled, “Please, Don’t Shoot!”. But the cops opened fire anyway. Then they let Richard’s body lay where he fell for 10 hours! His mother said, “They left him there like a dog!”

Four days after Richard’s murder, the police have not yet released his name to the press. And even though Richard’s name was tattooed on his chest, they only informed his mother of his murder two days later! In fact, his mother had been praying for someone in the neighborhood that she heard had been killed by police. Only, later, to find out that it was her own boy.

This is Outrageous!! This shit has to stop!!

1. From Wikipedia: “A sideshow is an informal demonstration of automotive stunts now often held in vacant lots, and public intersections, most often in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area, United States. Sideshows first appeared in Oakland as informal social gatherings of African-American youth. Sideshows were made even more popular throughout the 1990s with such songs as Bay Area rapper Richie Rich‘s ‘Sideshow’ anthem. ‘Down Bancroft / To the light / Let me warm it up, I hit a donut tight / Chevy on my side / Windows straight tinted / He got hype when he saw me spinnin’ / I’m up outta there, sideways to the next light.’” [back]






Revolution #414 November 23, 2015

Statement by Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, Chicago

Shocking Video Shows Chicago Police Execution of Black youth

Justice for Laquan McDonald!

Download PDF of this statement from the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, Chicago

November 24, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Killer cop Van Dyke indicted for 1st degree murder.
Now he must be CONVICTED and sent to Jail. The Whole Damn System Is Guilty as Hell!
Protest Wed. Nov 25, 4 pm and on Black Friday, Nov. 27, 11 am

Dashcam Video of Officer Jason Van Dyke Shooting Laquan McDonald

Police murder Laquan McDonald at 5 minute mark

The whole world can now witness on video the horrendous murder of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, shot 16 times by Chicago police while he was walking away.  The acts on this video shock the conscience.  No one with an ounce of humanity could watch the police execution of this Black teenager and not be shaken to the core.  Laquan was our fellow human being.  No person should ever be treated like this by an agent of the government, yet murder by police continues over and over.  This video challenges everyone, to confront this reality and to decide and to act: WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON:  The side of the murderers? Or the side of those who demand POLICE MURDER MUST STOP!  There is no middle ground.

Now the murdering cop, Jason Van Dyke, has been charged with first degree murder. Yet for over 13 months the murderer, this cop with a long record of brutality complaints, was not arrested, charged, or even fired.  The six cops who parti­cipated in this execution and the higher-ups have been lying and covering up from the start while the City “investigation process” dragged on and on, refusing to even name the cop.  Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Police Department fought this whole time to suppress the damning video. They even paid $5 million to Laquan’s family. But after a court ruling last week, the City has been forced to release the video.

Laquan McDonald
Laquan McDonald

The powers-that-be have been working overtime to “manage” this crisis. The indictment of Van Dyke  is not a sign that they have suddenly seen the light of justice or changed their nature.  What this shows is their weakness and fear of the eruption of mass outrage by those who face the brutal terror of the police every day joined by those who do not face this directly, but who do not want to live in such a horrendous society. Mass outrage and mass resistance is exactly what’s needed.  One minister said, “If there were no protests it would mean we have become immune to this madness.” Getting an actual conviction of Van Dyke on 1st degree murder will take massive and sustained struggle on a national level as part of the whole struggle to indict ALL the murdering cops nationwide (there is no statute of limitations on murder) and to STOP POLICE TERROR.


See also:

Comprehensive coverage of #RiseUpOctober - STOP Police Terror! Which Side Are You On?

Student Upsurge: A Challenge and an Invite

White Supremacists Shoot Minneapolis Protesters Who Are Demanding Justice for Jamar Clark!

This shocking video is being released in a situation of murder after murder targetted especially at Black and Latino people all over this country, a campaign of terror with genocidal implications, where the murdering cops go free.  This is a situation where the burning anger and righteous refusal of the people to take this shit any more has erupted repeatedly into resistance since the uprising in Ferguson over Mike Brown's murder.  On Oct 22-24 thousands came to New York City to RiseUpOctober and drew a line in society that there is a force in society that is determined to bring millions into the fight to stop police terror now.  For the last three weeks on campuses all over the country students stood up and said we aren't going to take the racism of this white supremacist society.  As we write this, hundreds of people in Minneapolis have been standing up against the police murder of Jamar Clark for over a week in the face of heavy repression from the police.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the police say the real problem they want to stop is the people who are outraged about the horrible murder of Laquan, not stopping the police who perpetrate this state terror!  This is the logic of a brutal system that was founded on the enslavement of millions of Black people and which has continued this oppression in different forms all the way down to the ugly program of mass incarceration and police terror today. 

We need an end to the whole system of capitalism-imperialism. The role of the police is to serve and protect that system.  We need a whole different system, one where the oppression of Black people and other oppressed nationalities is eliminated, along with all the other outrages this system perpetuates here and around the world. This requires an actual revolution. This revolution is real and possible. To get truly free requires science and leadership and we have this leadership in Bob Avakian (BA), the leader of the Revolutionary Communist Party, who has developed the revolutionary science, the strategy, and the vision of a radically better world.  Get with this revolution and get with BA! Everyone who wants to learn more about how we can end this madness and what a future liberating society would look like should go to 

Chicago, November 24
November 24—After the release of the video, hundreds of people marched in outrage late into the night, at one point shutting down Interstate 290/Congress Parkway that runs through downtown Chicago.

Wed, Nov 25: everyone who is shocked by this murder must stand up and act. Protest at 4 pm, State & Jackson (SE corner). If you can't make it, show your outrage and protest in public wherever you are—make signs and organize others to protest with you. Go to a busy corner, go to the mall, on the bus or the train. Now is the time to stand up.

Then on Black Friday, November 27, Stop Mass Incarceration Network Chicago  has put out the call to take to the streets on N. Michigan Avenue and deliver a powerful message to the world that the Killer Cop Van Dyke Must Be CONVICTED and jailed.  (for more info contact SMIN Chicago at 312-933-9586 or


Wed. November 25, 4 pm PROTEST!
 at State and Jackson (SE corner), downtown

Black Friday, November 27, 11 am PROTEST!
at the old Water Tower building on the S.E. corner of Michigan and Pearson






Revolution #414 November 23, 2015

White Supremacists Shoot Minneapolis Protesters Who Are Demanding Justice for Jamar Clark!

November 24, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


As of 5 PM, thousands of people are marching in the streets of Minneapoils demanding justice for Jamar Clark and in response to the armed assault on the protest encampment at the 4th District Police Station. 

Minneapolis November 24, 2015
Photo: Revolution /

Minneapolis November 24
Photo: Twitter / @StibJany

Minneapolis November 24, 2015
Photo: Revolution /

At 10:45, Monday night, a group of white supremacists opened fire on protesters demanding justice for Jamar Clark—a young Black man murdered by Minneapolis police (see Police Murder in Minneapolis: Occupation Demands Justice for Jamar Clark).

The attack took place about a block from the police station where protesters have been camped out in bitter cold for nine days. Five protesters—all Black men—were shot. They were taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Two of the wounded were hit in the leg, another in the arm and a fourth (who underwent surgery) in the stomach.

From all available information, white supremacists came prepared to instigate a confrontation and an armed assault. And the shootings took place in a climate where the movement against police terror is being demonized, and people are being whipped up to attack it, on Fox News and in white supremacist social media. White supremacists have been threatening the encampment for days now. On one night a car drove through the camp, shouting, “White lives matter.” Reports from the protesters say four people came into the protest with masks on, that people from the encampment’s safety team asked them to take off their masks and they refused.

As we post this article, it is being reported that two suspects were arrested today in the shooting. But it is highly revealing that, according to witnesses, police on the scene were more concerned with roping in and suppressing the protesters than capturing the armed attackers. One protester who was at the scene of the shooting and helped get some of the injured into a SUV to go to the hospital said that when the cops drove up they were concerned with controlling the crowd, not helping the injured, they were “going after the crowd and pushing us back” and people were saying, “why are you doing this” and then the cops maced some people. Another woman who was at the scene of the shooting said she asked two cops who were just standing around, what are you going to do about this, and they didn’t do anything and just told her to “call 911” and that then no police or ambulance came for 15 minutes.

Whether or not there is a direct connection between this attack and the authorities, there is the history—including in the civil rights movement—of the collaboration between KKK violence and the police in attacks like this.

The low-key media response to this outrage is also revealing. Imagine if the roles were reversed—or if protesters exercised a legal and legitimate right to self-defense in this or a similar situation—what the hysteria and repression would have been like!

Protesters in Minneapolis are not backing down, and have called on people to come support them. Everyone with a conscience must take a firm stand NOW against police and “unofficial” white supremacist murder and terror, including standing with the courageous protesters in Minneapolis who continue to demand justice.






Revolution #414 November 23, 2015

Which Side Are You On?

Download PDF of this statement here, print and get out all over.

November 9, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |



Everybody must support the actions of the students at the University of Missouri who have stood up and said NO MORE to the unrelenting string of racist outrages they have been forced to endure on their campus. The actions of #ConcernedStudent1950, the courageous hunger striker Jonathan Butler, and the extraordinary and bold stand taken by the football players are things that we all need to support and learn from.  All this indicates that there is a new generation that is not going to take the racism constantly hammered on people by this white supremacist society, that they are willing to put things on the line to stop it, and that when this kind of bold stand is taken it attracts, and compels, others to support it and also step into the fight.  This is a very important moment in relation to the struggle throughout the society against the oppression of Black people and other oppressed peoples, and it is part of focusing the thinking of millions to what is fundamental in this society. 

The resignations of University president Timothy Wolfe and Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin represent a great victory, one which should be celebrated and built off of.  As the struggle goes forward, people should ask themselves and ask all of society, “What kind of a system breeds, supports and defends the kind of racism that the Black students at Missouri—as well as students at every college—have to face?   Racism that finds expression in millions of other ways in this society?  And what do we intend to do about it?”

The question must be posed to everyone throughout society: WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON?
The outrages endured by Black students on campuses across this country are not “isolated.”  They are linked to the slow genocide of mass incarceration, the locking in cages of millions of our youth and the relentless terror and illegitimate violence inflicted on them by police day after day, year after year.  Unarmed Black and Brown people being tased to death, beaten to death, choked to death, shot in the back... and over and over again the courts and the media back up the killers and the police walk free.  The long and bloody history of slavery, the equally bloody history of Jim Crow segregation and lynch-mob terror, and now the genocidal assault of mass incarceration and police terror: these are all forms of the white supremacy that has been built into the fabric of U.S. society from the very beginning.

It is a basic truth that this SYSTEM has no future for Black youth.

And that: We need a whole different system, one in which the oppression of Black people and other oppressed nationalities, as well as all the other outrages of this system—its rampant violence against women and LGBT people, its brutal wars for empire, its destruction of the environment, its war on immigrants—are eliminated.  This requires an actual revolution, nothing less!  This revolution is real and it is possible, but it won’t be easy, and the way out of this madness is not obvious.  Truly getting free, after so many centuries of oppression and horror, requires science and leadership.  We have this science. And we have this leadership in Bob Avakian, the leader of the Revolutionary Communist Party.  I call on everybody who has taken part in this struggle and everyone who has been inspired by this struggle—to get with this revolution and to deeply check out the work of Bob Avakian, who has actually shown the way forward on the most critical problems facing the movement for revolution.  To learn more on this, people need to go to (in print—REVOLUTION newspaper), as well as check out the book BAsics, the DVDs BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!, and the Dialogue between Avakian and Cornel West, REVOLUTION AND RELIGION: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion.

And right now—as part of hastening and preparing for this revolution, as well as taking further the extremely just and broadly felt urgent demand that the racist terror of the police stop now—students and others must go into the streets in a major way on November 22, one year since the murder of Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old Black child playing with a toy gun who was shot down by a marauding cop in Cleveland.  The system has been working to grease the skids to exonerate the cops who murdered Tamir, and this must not be tolerated.  We must join those nationwide who will be saying on that day: “Indict, convict, send the killer cops to jail.  The whole damn system is guilty as hell!”

Thru acting on November 22 and thru carrying forward the struggle that has erupted on the Mizzou campus, we will be posing the question to all of society: WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON?






Revolution #414 November 23, 2015

Carl Dix Carl Dix is a co-initiator of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network and a representative of the Revolutionary Communist Party

Statement by Carl Dix

Justice For Jamar Clark!

November 25, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


The masked white supremacists who shot 5 people who were protesting the police murder of Jamar Clark on November 23 in Minneapolis were carrying out a long standing American tradition – gunning down people standing up against the oppression of Black people. All those who were shot survived, but this vicious and cowardly assault brings to mind the assassins who gunned down Black freedom fighters in the 1960's and the KKK and Nazi gunmen who murdered radical activists in Greensboro in 1979.

Download Printable PDF

(8 1/2 x 11, 1 side)

This cowardly and vicious shooting by white vigilantes must be firmly opposed. And the challenge it puts before everyone who hates injustice must be understood for what it is and acted on.

First, the protesters who have been out there for over a week, going outside the established channels to demand justice for Jamar Clark and defying racist vigilantes who had threatened them several times must be saluted and supported. Witnesses to the police killing of Clark say the 24-year-old Black man was handcuffed when the cops shot him. People were right to take to the streets in protest of this police murder and courageous to defy the white vigilantes who were trying to intimidate them, and it is important and inspiring that more people have joined and stood with the protests after this attack.

Second, we must learn well from this about the nature of this system: the whites who have been accused of the shooting seemed to have been given a free hand to harass and intimidate the demonstrators by the pigs in Minneapolis. Even after the shooting, the cops seemed to direct their attention more against the demonstrators than the shooters.

What does this tell us? That cops work hand-in-glove with racist vigilantes like these; that police are modern-day equivalents of the slave-catchers back in slavery days and the lynch mobs during the days of Jim Crow segregation. Their nickname - the “Blue Klux Klan” - is well deserved.

As Bob Avakian says in BAsics:

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

The power, the force and the violence they bring down is UTTERLY ILLEGITIMATE.

Third, since these pigs and the powers that back them have proven time and again, right down to today, that we cannot rely on them to “protect” the people’s rights then we MUST RELY ON OURSELVES. People have a legitimate right to do this, and we all have a responsibility to move to exercise that right.

And fourth, unless and until there is a revolution which dismantles the repressive apparatus of this system and brings in a whole new society with new ways for people to relate to each other, this kind of shit will happen again and again, generation after generation. This revolution is possible. Bob Avakian has forged the path to make it happen, and the party he leads, the Revolutionary Communist Party, is actively working on this. Everyone who desires justice and wants to see these horrors stopped needs to check out this revolutionary leader as they fight the power.





Revolution #414 November 23, 2015

No Jail Time for Political Resisters!

LA Fighters Against Police Terror on Why They Acted

November 25, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


On November 19, three young determined fighters against police terror and murder were each convicted of three misdemeanor charges in LA Superior Court and face up to three years in jail. These protesters had dared to hit the streets April 14, 2015—along with thousands of others in over 30 cities across the U.S.—to demand that cops STOP murdering people. In L.A., over 1,000 people took part in protests that included high school walkouts, a march through Skid Row and the shutting down of the Blue Line train for over an hour.

The following are from recent interviews with the three #ShutDownA14 protesters.

Michelle: “I knew my life had to be about something meaningful”

I grew up in South Central. Growing up, seeing people I knew getting harassed and locked up for bullshit, I started questioning why. I knew them personally and knew they were not bad people—why are they getting fucked with? When I was 18, I heard about Trayvon Martin who was one year younger than me, was racially profiled, stalked and killed by a wanna-be pig, and I was outraged. I went to a protest and heard Clyde Young [a member of the Central Committee of Revolutionary Communist Party who died in 2014] speak. He spoke about white supremacy, that this is not just one incident, it’s just one example that came out, but it happens all the time, happens with cops. It was the first time I heard cops kill Black people and get away with it. I started looking into it. I read Revolution newspaper and thought I had to get involved. I found out all over the world things are happening you don’t get told about. Zimmerman was influenced with thinking like a pig and a white supremacist. Going through the paper, I learned about mass incarceration, wars, shit I’d never heard before.

BA SpeaksLearn more about this film

After a year of reading Revolution newspaper, where I’d heard about Bob Avakian, I watched BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! After sitting through six hours, I thought this is what I want my life to be about, not about myself. What he said at the end was very inspiring. I knew my life had to be about something meaningful.

When I decided to stay on those tracks on April 14—it was a statement, we’re not getting out of here until they stop getting away with murder. The cops keep getting away with murder. Going into April 14, I kept hearing new names, stories, seeing videos every day of people killed by police, and then Walter Scott. I would tell people, this happened and what are you doing about it? You see in the video a Black person is running from a pig, the pig shooting him in the back and planting a weapon. What are you going to do?

Felix: “People were willing to put something on the line and it was inspiring”

I grew up in L.A., near downtown, grew up in the same area my whole life. I’ve seen it change a lot. There was a lot of oppression going on, and I thought it was normal: poverty, gangs, police brutality. I thought everywhere was like that. In middle school I started seeing a change with gentrification and then I realized there was inequality. I started connecting things. It made me realize we don’t matter. I never saw things change until people came in with more money.

In 1992, I was five years old. They beat up Rodney King. I remember seeing places boarded up and burned down. I kind of always knew there was police brutality and just accepted it. I thought: stay out of trouble and get good grades and that will save you. Then I had my first bad experience with cops.

I was at home doing homework and realized I had left a book at school in my locker. I went out to go get my book. I was wearing basketball shorts and a black shirt. I was 14 years old. As soon as I went out of the building, I guess I went out quickly. The cops pulled in front of me, told me to stop. They got out and had their hands on their holsters. It was really intimidating. All I had was my keys. I lived across the street from my high school. I was just going to get my book because I was doing my homework. They said we want to talk to you. They started asking bullshit questions, trying to get something from me, guilty by association because of the neighborhood, the building I lived in. Who do you hang out with, asking about all the gangs, saying “tell me names.” I told them I don’t know about that, I stay out of it. They had no reason to stop me. Two big cops and a scrawny 14-year-old. I answered all the questions. Then they said, OK, turn around. I just responded without thinking, “What, are you serious, I answered all your questions!” They said turn around, we’re going to search you. I had to turn around and put my hands on my head, it was like a spectacle in front of my neighbors.

Why are we still fighting for justice in 2015?

"Why are we still fighting for justice in 2015?" is a clip from the film REVOLUTION AND RELIGION: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion; A Dialogue Between CORNEL WEST & BOB AVAKIAN. The film is of the November 2014 historic Dialogue on a question of great importance in today's world between the Revolutionary Christian Cornel West and the Revolutionary Communist Bob Avakian. Watch the entire film here.

I had thought, do what you’re supposed to do and nothing will happen. But anything can happen. I would come out of my building and they would follow me to the bus stop in a really obvious way. I remember thinking, should I run, but I haven’t done anything.

I always wanted to do something to have an impact, volunteering. I always wanted to help people. I didn’t see anything better to do. If you’re helping people, you’re doing something right. I heard about Trayvon, Oscar Grant, those stories stuck with me. At the moment I didn’t do anything. I didn’t know what to do. I just continued with my life until I heard BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! at Revolution Books and that stuck with me. I remember him talking about police brutality and at a time when so much things going on. I went to different events at Revolution Books. I remember an event when people came back from protesting for abortion rights in Texas and had been arrested. People were willing to put something on the line and it was inspiring.

At one of those events, I got a flyer for a Stop Mass Incarceration Network meeting. I had always wanted to get involved with something. I had thought maybe it would be an anti-corporate movement or with the teachers' union because my sister was a teacher and after she died I thought it would be a good way to honor her. She used to talk about the school system and how she was forced to teach to the tests, so I thought maybe I would do something against No Child Left Behind. I still think the school system is really fucked up. But I found something more urgent with Stop Mass Incarceration. I had seen people protesting on the news, protests in Crenshaw, but that seemed far away. I got involved towards the October Month of Resistance in 2014. I was asked to be a monitor for the October 22 protest and that gave me a sense of responsibility—I wasn’t just attending, I was part of it and I was doing something right. It was the month of resistance and we were going to detention centers and prisons and protesting police brutality and this is when I knew I wanted to keep going. I had found a purpose, a just purpose.

On April 14, I didn’t know if I was going to stay on the tracks. I remember thinking, “I have to do my taxes.” But this time was about taking it all the way. Not just hearing inspiring stories, but being one who inspires others. At the moment I felt that was the right thing and I still do and I haven’t changed my mind about it.

Diego: “I decided to dedicate myself to the struggle to emancipate all humanity”

I grew up in South Central, the only Latino on my block to have Black friends so I was ostracized. Before the rebellion of 1992, I didn’t know shit about Black people other than the racist caricatures I heard from people close to me. Then the rebellion happened. I was young at the time, about 9 or 10 years old. I remember seeing how happy people were and it was a shock to me. All I had been told was about raging Black people and all around me they were happy, as buildings were burning down there was this beautiful scene of people being joyful, literally dancing through the streets, with full shopping carts. I wanted to get to know these people more. I have a deep appreciation for Black people, I grew up with them, was educated by an older Black couple who lived on my block. I developed an openness to what people go through.

In my neighborhood I constantly heard about gang violence, but the only violence I ever saw was by police. Much later in life, a close friend was killed in gang violence, and another guy who lived on my block was killed in what police say was also gang violence. There was a lot of poverty in my neighborhood but growing up I never it saw it that way, maybe I was too desensitized. After ‘92, the cops would come up to kids in the park passing out baseball cards, and them come back and harass them for playing football in the street. They would kick your ball away or throw it away.

At the time I was growing up, South Central was mainly Black, with a few Latinos. I ended up going to a school where I got out of the neighborhood and I ran into Armenians, Iranians, Cambodians, Koreans, Vietnamese people. Even different Latinos who weren’t Mexican or Guatemalan—people from Nicaragua, El Salvador. I was inspired by the breadth of what was out there. I realized I didn’t know a lot of stuff. I felt I didn’t know enough about people. I hadn’t done a lot of reading prior to that. I wanted to learn so I went to a place I imagined they sold books and that was USC campus. I was about 14 years old and I was going there trying to find some stuff to read. It was scary to do that because it took me out of my comfort zone, all these white students. And then I saw books after books after books of all these different things. It was fascinating—all this stuff out there. I started digging in. Asking questions.

First I got into Che through a teacher. There was a swath of people that inspired Che: Mao Zedong, Marx, Engels. I found The Communist Manifesto at the USC bookstore and I read that. Then I found Revolution Books. I liked Revolution Books because I found non-conformist ideas, radically different than what was going on in society.

One of the things that became clear to me is there wasn’t a lack of struggle and sacrifice on behalf of humanity to better conditions to end tyrannical societies. I came to learn why these tyrannical societies existed and how these divisions came about. I was able to see where they arose in human history and that without leadership there would just continuously be a beautiful struggle and heroic sacrifice but that’s all it would be. I came to understand the need for revolution and communism, and I came to appreciate the role of Bob Avakian and the Revolutionary Communist Party to bring about the conditions to liberate humanity. And I decided to dedicate myself to the struggle to emancipate all humanity.

On April 14, there was a need for a resurgence of protest that had been opened up by Ferguson and what it inspired in people. There were a lot of attacks coming down and they were trying to pop the bubble of resistance. People needed to see that in order to  stop this requires people in the streets. I did what I could to build for that day and on the day itself I wanted to take it as far as I could.

To learn more about and get involved in the fight to defend these three fighters, and others who were arrested on April 14, check out the leaflet from the Stop Mass Incarceration Network So Cal: “It’s right to protest murder by police! Oppose the Convictions of April 14 Protesters and Drop the Charges Against All Those Arrested for Protesting Police Terror






Revolution #414 November 23, 2015

Minneapolis: Voices of Protesters in the Streets

November 25, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Demonstrators camp outside Minneapolis Police Department's 4th Precinct during a protest of the police murder of Jamar Clark, November 24. AP photoDemonstrators camp outside Minneapolis Police Department's 4th Precinct during a protest of the police murder of Jamar Clark, November 24. AP photo

From interviews by a Revolution correspondent

Young African-American man who lives in Minneapolis—this is his first demonstration:

I wanted to see what the fuss was, and to show support for the brother who died. I wanted to see the officer response—I want to get the tapes released. And I want to see the response of the people... .We need to get rid of the barriers between us, religion, race, Crips vs. Bloods. It’s all divide and conquer. To me there was a lack of progress and action. We have to do shit on a different scale. Now I thought it was good today—but there were all these smiles. I think we need to be more serious than that. Put the pressure on them. Go where we’re not permitted to go. Cause disruptions. Run the police out of the community.

Young white woman from Hopkins High School (a predominantly white suburban school):

I wanted to take a stand. I wanted to prove that America has a racist foundation. I wanted people to stop being ignorant. How to change things? I have no idea of how to change things. End white privilege. Be allies to Blacks. Be helpful. The shooting by the racist whites? Why? We’re just out here supporting the family, and they shoot people. I’m sick of Black people being killed.

Young African-American woman who bought a copy of BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian:

I’m tired of people being oblivious, ignoring the issue. Many of these people out here have never walked in my shoes. I grew up in a privileged part of town, but I wake up every morning afraid for my life... and they don’t. It’s like you have two strikes on your back if you’re a minority—and the third strike could come anytime and take you out. Change? It takes the community. Exposing white supremacy. The system was built on white privilege. I came out here wanting to believe the police weren’t as bad as some have been saying. But they’re really worse than I thought.






Revolution #414 November 23, 2015

To Our Readers:
Seize the Moment!

November 25, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Something very important and special is happening right now. People are rising up against the oppression of Black people, in many different ways. And this upsurge is taking place at a time when the rulers of this system—that brings so much misery and death to humanity—are up against a whole set of problems here and around the world.

It is on those of us who see revolution as the solution to unite with and push on this struggle, standing with the people, connecting this with the movement for revolution, taking this uprising as far and as high as it can go. And as part of that, we also have a responsibility to lead people to call out and resist the fascist polarization against this. White racists are threatening and shooting at protestors in Minnesota who are demanding justice for Jamar Clark; Donald Trump had his followers assault a Black protestor at his rally; and so on.

The statement “On the Strategy for Revolution” from the RCP speaks to the challenges posed to revolutionaries at a moment like this:

Such “jolts” in the “normal functioning” of things, even if they do not develop all the way to a fundamental crisis for the system as a whole, do create situations in which many more people are searching for answers and open to considering radical change. The work of building the movement for revolution must be consistently carried out at all times, but in these situations of sharp breaks with the “normal routine” there is greater possibility, and greater potential, to make advances. This must be fully recognized and built on to the greatest degree possible, so that through such situations, leaps are made in building up the movement and the organized forces for revolution, creating in this way a stronger basis from which to work for further advances. (The entire statement is available at and in BAsics from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian.)

There is the potential for something of unprecedented beauty to arize out of unspeakable ugliness...
Tweet this

Everyone reading this message to readers of needs to jump into the fray with both feet, and challenge others to join us. Most important of all, this means bringing Bob Avakian (BA) into the mix as you are uniting with people to fight the power. BA has not only brought forward a whole pathway on how to understand and transform the world and actually make revolution in this day and age...and make it a revolution worth making—but in particular he has worked long and hard on the particular question of the relationship between ending the oppression of Black people in the U.S. and revolution (as expressed in a very concentrated and poetic way in the new quote).

We, and everyone else who is at all interested in getting out of this mess should be getting out BA quote cards, T-shirts with the BA image, BA Speaks: Revolution—Nothing Less shirts, and posters and banners with, driving people to get with BA and The statements by Carl Dix are also important in this light—they connect BA and what he represents with all this in a living way.

In all this, either during pauses in the action or while getting out palm cards, Revolution, and other BA materials, seize every moment to bring people the problem/solution, which is crystallized in BA and what he’s brought forward.

We have to let people know: there IS a way out! This means everyone being OUT in the streets this weekend, especially on “Black Friday,” taking BA into the mix. Sometimes this will mean taking literature, sometimes it will mean being right in the fray up against the pigs or reactionaries and then later getting down with people. But even when right up in the fray, find ways to represent—like with oversized Revolution—Nothing Less or BA image shirts over jackets—so that people can see who we are and get into BA (including those who see us in mainstream and social media coverage). Take signs, posters, and banners speaking to what is going on, with large, highly-readable WWW.REVCOM.US.

Correspond on your experiences and send reports and photos to:






Revolution #414 November 23, 2015

Wednesday Update from Minneapolis

Funeral for Jamar Clark & Standing Up to White Supremacists and Police

November 25, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a Revolution correspondent


Demonstrators camp outside Minneapolis Police Department's 4th Precinct during a protest of the police murder of Jamar Clark, November 24. AP photo
Demonstrators camp outside Minneapolis Police Department's 4th Precinct during a protest of the police murder of Jamar Clark, November 24. AP photo

Piles of firewood block both ends of the street in front of the 4th District Police Station in Minneapolis
Piles of firewood block both ends of the street in front of the 4th District Police Station in Minneapolis where courageous protesters demanding justice for Jamar Clark are standing up to attacks and threats by white supremacists and police. Credit: @deray

funeral for Jamar Clark The funeral procession for Jamar Clark goes past the protest encampment. Credit: @popresistance

As of Wednesday night, in spite of and in face of ongoing threats from white supremacists and police officials, 150 protesters remain camped out in front of the Minneapolis Police Department 4th Precinct. The entire street is blocked off with tents, with huge piles of firewood at both ends of the street.

I am at the encampment in front of the 4th Precinct. I have gotten Carl Dix’ statement on the shooting of protesters here out to people, and am talking to people and learning about what is on their minds. I spoke with a number of Black youth here who are furious about that assault. The scene continues to be a mix of Black and white people—about half Black. There are students, activists, and people from the community.

As I was interviewing two Somali women who are supporting the encampment, a pick up truck drove right up to the encampment and two white guys were yelling things like—“you’re violent—you asked for this.”They then sped off. It was very threatening and scary for people at the encampment. But nobody left. And people are also getting more organized and the encampment security was on this.

See also:
Minneapolis: Voices of Protesters in the Streets

The things the two guys yelled echoed what the police told the people Monday in the encampment when they tried to report the 5 people had just been shot. Cops said things like get out of here, we don’t want to hear it and “you wanted this.”

People noted that the police were nowhere around during this incident. But an hour later, a whole bunch of police with flashing lights rolled up on the protest to harass people.

Pain and Outrage at Jamar Clark’s Funeral

Shiloh Temple is an African-American church in North Minneapolis with a large congregation, not far from where Jamar Clark was murdered by police. Perhaps 400 people attended his funeral, along with major media coverage outside. The large majority were Black, with a few whites, and a large contingent of ministers from other congregations, including about 10 Hmong who sat in an honored position right behind the pulpit.

The obituary spoke of Jamar’s short life. Born in 1991, he graduated from Harrison High School and worked for Copeland Trucking and Central Car Wash. Jamar liked to swim, fish, listen to music, play basketball, be with family and take trips to Charlotte, North Carolina.

The viewing went on for two hours before the noon service. Just before the service, wailing could be heard in the aisle for the viewing, as Jamar’s grandmother was assisted to the casket. Not long after that, Jamar’s mother came down the aisle, and she began to jump up and down and scream out “They took my baby!” over and over. She could not proceed to the casket for several minutes, until drained of energy and assisted by several people.

A few family members spoke, including one of Jamar’s brothers. His anger was as palpable as his grief. He clearly called out the police for murder, and demanded the video tapes of the incident be released. He said “they shot my brother in the face!” He thanked the protesters from the area and all over the country and called on them to continue until the killer cop is in jail. He said he knows about the police from his own experience, and just hasn’t been murdered by them yet.

The host minister and a visiting minister also gave praise to the protesters, and called for justice for Jamar. The funeral procession went past the encampment, and a number of people who had been part of the funeral stopped their cars to salute the protesters, some with raised fists.





Revolution #414 November 23, 2015

Solidarity protest in New York City

November 26, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


NYC protest for justice for Jamar Clark

Hundreds gathered Wednesday night, Novmber 25, at Washington Square Park in NYC in solidarity with protesters in Minneapolis. After a rally, groups of protesters converged at Macy's at Herald Square and at the entrance to the Lincoln Tunnel to New Jersey. Police attacked and arrested protesters. Credit: ‏@KeeganNYC





Revolution #414 November 23, 2015

Nov. 25: Protests in the Streets of Chicago

After Video Released of Laquan McDonald's Execution-Style Murder by Chicago Police

November 26, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


From Readers

Photos from the streets of Chicago - 11/24/15

Chicago 11/24/15

Chicago 11/24/15

Chicago 11/24/15


Events are developing very rapidly since the video was released of Laquan McDonald's execution-style murder by Chicago police. The outrage over this horrendous murder and the sense that this cannot be tolerated any more and need to act on it have become a very big deal, with a lot of different Black forces expressing their feelings of betrayal and anger that the police and the City lied about the murder of Laquan and covered it up and dragged out the investigation for over a year when it was crystal clear from the video that this was straight up murder. Today Jesse Jackson, and Congressmen Danny Davis and Bobby Rush, along with other politicians, called for people to act in the street on Black Friday at 11 am on North Michigan Avenue and to march up to Water Tower, the symbol of this upscale shopping district. Stop Mass Incarceration Network had already called for people to protest at the Water Tower at 11 am.

Voice of the Ex-Offender and Stop Mass Incarceration Network held a press conference, featuring the Stolen Lives families, including Gloria Pinex and Freddie McGee, and others also calling for mass protest to stop police murder on Black Friday. It was covered extensively. AP reported, "Several protesters said they were parents of Black men who also had been shot and killed by Chicago police. The group wants people to shut down Michigan Avenue, known as Chicago's "Magnificent Mile" on Friday."

Protests in outrage at the deliberate murder by Chicago police of Laquan McDonald have continued for two nights—lasting for hours each, taking over major downtown streets, including a shutdown of an interstate at midnight. Protests were called on the spot after the city announced they were releasing the video on Tuesday instead of Wednesday. SMIN called on people to gather downtown at 5 pm on State Street. The BYP100 called a Black only gathering of students which quickly became a march of 150 from the near West Side. They took over major streets heading toward Lake Shore Drive and at one point it was attacked by police and three people were arrested. The two protests came together on Michigan Avenue, later marching to the police station to demand the release of the protesters. All this was covered live on national and local TV as well as live stream. Soon some of the protesters took off again for downtown and the character of the march became more diverse as many new people, including white and Latino students from downtown dorms as well as people from the poor Black neighborhoods where the police terrorize people every day, who were looking for the protest. Police went after one of the young Black march leaders, Malcolm London who was charged with a felony. But the protesters continued to take the streets, block intersections, including taking over the interstate. Protesters rallied again this morning in support of London, and he was not only released but his charges were dropped.

Tonight's protest, called by SMIN and spread through social media and taking the flyer with a statement from the RCP,USA everywhere, initially gathered about 40 people, many from the Black neighborhoods plus at least 20 media. Charles Blow of the New York Times was live-tweeting from the march. The Revolution Club and Stop Mass Incarceration spoke and then opened up the mic. Black people from the neighborhoods expressed their raw anger and pain at the inhumanity of what is going on. Family members of Laquan McDonald took part in the protest.

One protester said, "The cops were hands off tonight, so the people took over the street and all the major intersections, where people would come out and speak bitterness, we would chant and sing. It was a real mix of people, young Black kids were nose-to-nose with the police, screaming in their faces, shaking their fists, "You killed Laquan. You kill us all the time." There were white students, young Black bucket drummers, clergy, middle-age Black people, and some impeccably dressed white shoppers who were loudly clapping as the protest went by. Black youth and older people held the banner the whole time. When we blocked many intersections, then more people joined in. We had a sit-down on the bridge while people spoke their outrage, we had die-ins on the corners. We totally snarled up the traffic. We died-in outside the Trump Tower and Phenom performed a spoken word piece there. We sang "I Can't Breathe." We chanted "Indict, Convict Send the Killer Cops to Jail, the Whole Damn System Is Guilty as Hell, and "16 shots". On the mic in the middle of the street people were pouring their hearts out with a tremendous amount of passion, passing the mic around. In the intersections ,they got into discussions about why are they killing us, what are the police really about. The scene was a mix of tremendous anger and celebration."

That's it for tonight.

P.S. Later on 3 people were arrested, and the marchers went to the 1st District to do jail support. More information to come.




Revolution #414 November 23, 2015

Statement on the Violent Attack on Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood

November 27, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


November 27, 2015

updated @ 10:30 PM

On Friday a gunman launched an armed attack against the Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colorado, wounding at least nine people, with three confirmed murdered as of this writing. This heinous attack marks a serious escalation of the war against women AND a serious escalation in the overall attacks on the people. This must be met with determined, unyielding struggle.

This war has gone on now for several decades. Since 1977, anti-abortion pro-patriarchy fanatics have murdered at least eight people working to provide abortions—the most recent being the murder of Dr. George Tiller in 2009. The terrifying violence against the staff, patients and the clinics has been unrelenting over these decades. Some statistics over this same time period reveal the scale and scope of this vicious campaign to deprive women of the basic right to control their own lives: what was eight murdered before yesterday is now at least 11; and add to this, 17 attempted murders, 42 bombings, 182 acts of arson, and almost 7000 acts of documented violence and 194,000+ acts of active disruption.1  All this is but the leading edge of the violence done to the countless women's lives who could not access abortion services because so many clinics have been forced to close.

Planned Parenthood has been a major target of this for the last several months with Republican presidential candidates in particular engaging in the most vicious lies, distortions and demagogy. Meanwhile, state legislatures all over the U.S. have put the very right to abortion, as well as birth control, on the firing line and the Supreme Court itself plans to make a major ruling this spring.

It is imperative that this attack on Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs be met with mass action immediately—answering Sunsara Taylor's call for demonstrations Saturday, November 28. Then, on January 22, 2016 in Washington, DC, and on January 23 in San Francisco, there must be massive national demonstrations on the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision which originally made abortion legal in the U.S. against the whole offensive being waged to take away the right to abortion. Beyond and through that demonstration we need a whole societal-wide movement of women and men who refuse to put up with this any longer, who refuse to just hope for the best but instead insist on directly and militantly confronting and fighting this patriarchal madness, who are determined to change the whole terms of discourse and political action to defend abortion and women's lives in this society, and around the world.

At the same time, during this past week, there was an armed racist attack on demonstrations and an encampment organized by Black Lives Matter in Minnesota against the police killing of Jamar Clark, a young Black man. Not only did the police do absolutely nothing to prevent this shooting of activists, they took it as an opportunity to further harass and repress the demonstrators themselves. Both of these attacks—the one in Minnesota against the movement against police murder of Black and other minority people and the one in Colorado against women exercising their right to make their own decisions about whether and when to be a parent—are linked. They are part of a more overall openly fascist reactionary wind being fanned—again from very high up among the rulers of this country—in which threats, beatings and armed attacks are being unleashed against the people and in which openly racist thugs like Donald Trump are being given credibility and endless air time to promote poison on these questions, as well as his particular bent against immigrants. All this must be opposed both by militant mass action AND by relying on ourselves to defend ourselves and our movements. The lines are being drawn; the people must stand up.

This whole capitalist-imperialist system of America is rife with oppression and repression, and has no answers for the oppression of women or the ongoing murder of Black and other minority people by police other than empty promises and not just continued, but deepened, oppression, while at the same time stirring up and unleashing armed, fascist, racist, woman-hating forces. If this were all that is wrong with this system, it would be reason enough for revolution—and of course there is much more that needs to be utterly changed, from the horrific international situation and the endless wars, to the oppression of refugees and immigrants, to the destruction of the environment. Nothing short of revolution can solve this. And the most important thing is that there is leadership for that revolution, and a vision and plan for a far better society in which people can really get to work on solving these problems—in Bob Avakian (BA) and the new synthesis of communism he has brought forward, and the party he leads.

The time is now to cast away illusions, look reality in the face, and stand up to fight this oppression and while doing so, engage with BA and the scientific method and approach to, and the framework for, an actual revolution aimed at ending all forms of oppression and exploitation throughout the world and get with the  movement for revolution and the Revolutionary Communist Party that is at its core.

Abortion On Demand And Without Apology
Abortion Providers Are Heroes
Forced Motherhood Is Female Enslavement



1. Statistics from the National Abortion Federation;   [back]





Revolution #414 November 23, 2015

Sunsara Taylor Calls for Emergency Demonstrations on Saturday, Nov. 28, 2015
Responding to the Attack on the Planned Parenthood Clinic in Colorado Springs

Updated 11/28/15


Across the Country

New York City: 1 pm Union Square, South End
San Francisco: 1 pm, Powell & Market Sts.
Los Angeles: 1 pm, Hollywood & Highland
Seattle: 3 pm, Westlake Park, 401 Pine Street

November 27, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


From coverage of the emergency response protest in Union Square Friday night 11/28 on NY TV (channel 11)

Everyone who cares about women's rights and lives needs to stand up against what seems to be emerging as the vicious violent assault on the Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs that began on Friday 11/27/15 and beyond that the whole assault on women's rights to abortion and birth control. Across the country, providers of abortion have faced escalating legal restrictions, increased harassment, and violent assault. These attacks have grown over decades, and escalated at a startling rate in recent years and months. Before Friday's attack, 8 providers of abortion have been murdered, most recently in 2009 with the murder of George Tiller in Wichita, Kansas. Many scores of clinics have been attacked, bombed, invaded, and destroyed. State legislatures all over the U.S. have put the right to abortion, and birth control, on the firing line and the Supreme Court itself plans to make a major ruling this spring.

Whether these attacks on women's right to abortion come through laws or through extra-legal violence, the result is the same: they deny women the fundamental right to control their own bodies, reproduction, and lives. These attacks are illegitimate. Fetuses are NOT babies! Abortion is NOT murder! Women are NOT incubators. Women are full human beings, they are half of humanity. Their rights and their lives MUST be defended. NOW is the time for everyone who cares about women, who opposes Christian fascist violence and theocracy, who believes in justice, to defend the clinics, and to stand up, demonstrate and declare:






Revolution #414 November 23, 2015

Outrage over the murder of Laquan McDonald—17 years old, killed with 16 shots by murdering pig

Shutting Down Black Friday on Chicago's Magnificent Mile

November 28, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


“Shut it down!”—today it was not just a slogan. At least 2,000 protesters literally shut down the famous shopping zone on Chicago’s Michigan Avenue known as the Magnificent Mile.

Freezing rain and high winds could not put a damper on the outrage that has spread widely across the city during this last week since a court ordered the city to release the police dash cam video. This video, now seen all over the world, shows the cold-blooded street execution of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald that took place over a year ago. Authorities rushed to try to contain mass anger by both firing the murdering cop, Jason Van Dyke, and charging him with first-degree murder—the first such charge on a cop in Chicago in at least 35 years.

Since the release of the video, the demand for full accountability continues to mount. Police, city officials and the State’s Attorney have ALL conspired to suppress the video all this time. They paid out $5 million to the family of Laquan with the stipulation that the family could not release the video. They blatantly destroyed evidence: Burger King confirmed that after the police entered their restaurant, 86 minutes of video vanished from their security camera; the audio from multiple other dash cams did “not exist” due to supposed mechanical malfunctions. All the other cops on the scene did nothing to stop the execution nor did they immediately demand their fellow pig be tried for murder. No one on the scene even attempted to give medical aid to Laquan. It was an execution AND a massive cover up, and both are why people are so angry throughout the city. It was not one “bad apple” as the mayor and the police chief claim.

Chicago, BLack Friday

Chicago, Black Friday protest

Chicago, Black Friday

Chicago, Black Friday protest. Photos above:

Chicago, Black Friday at Disney Store
Photo: Special to Revolution/

Chicago, Black Friday
Chicago Revolution Club at Black Friday protest. Photo:

For over five hours on Michigan Avenue’s Magnificent Mile, all lanes of traffic were closed by marchers, completely bringing things to a halt in this part of town. The people who had turned out were determined that there would not be business/shopping as usual as if the murder of Laquan and everything surrounding it didn't matter. NO! Black lives are more important than shopping was the message that a lot of people wanted to deliver. Many protesters wanted to put economic pressure on the city since this is the biggest single shopping day of the year. 

People formed into groups and blocked the entrance of every major store along a six-block stretch. It was an unbelievable protest! It was no ordinary protest! People shut down the Disney store! People shut down Niketown! And Tiffany’s, Rolex, American Girl! People shut down the Apple store—and inside the employees danced and cheered! Everywhere people chanted, "This store is SHUT DOWN!" Shoppers could not enter, and those inside in some cases were not allowed to leave for over an hour by order of the police and store security. Finally, shoppers were taken out the back entrances.

Standing arm-in-arm in front of many stores were groups of diverse strangers who forged a strong bond and unity over many hours in their determination to shut down business on the Magnificent Mile to protest the police murder of Laquan McDonald. Just in one long line in front of Macy’s at Water Tower Place, passionately chanting “16 shots” over and over again were a middle-aged middle-class Black couple linking arms with a white Chicago high school student on one side and Black high school students from the spoken word group Kuumba Lynx together on the other; down the row were Latino college students, many Black people of all ages from the neighborhoods, Asian and white students in town for the holiday. Standing in solidarity with them were many other kinds of people. Two women from Germany said they knew all about Laquan McDonald from the news in Europe—they knew he was shot 16 times. The longer they stood out in the bitter cold and wind the stronger they became. It was a picture of exactly what’s needed—EVERYBODY who is opposed to police murder standing up against it.

Meanwhile in the street, a group of 300 protesters marched up and down Michigan Avenue, shutting down all traffic for hours. Youth from some of the most oppressed Black neighborhoods were up on the planters, leading chants. Dancing and chanting “16 shots and a cover up!” in the streets together were young and old Blacks, whites, Asians, and Latinos, from the Teachers Union, the Transit Union, PUSH, churches, students and many people who came on their own because they felt they had to be there. A very accomplished drummer (who was once the drummer for Ramsey Lewis, among others) kept an awesome beat. At one point when some of the organizers tried to end the protests, a middle-aged Black woman stepped up to lead people to refuse to stop. She said, “Why are we here? We’re here for Laquan! We’re here to shut it down, we can’t leave now. We’re here for ‘Ronnieman’ Johnson. We’re here for the people who were killed by the police who have no justice.” (Ronald “Ronnieman” Johnson, an unarmed 25-year-old Black man and father of five small children, was murdered by Chicago cops in October 2014.)

At one point the Revolution Club and people running with it—BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! T-shirts over their coats—together with some family members of people murdered by police stretched across all of the already-shut-down Michigan Avenue, chanting, “How do we get out of this mess? Revolution—nothing less!” and singing the song “Hell You Talmbout?” The Revcoms also agitated about the epidemic of genocidal police murders across the country and the nationwide movement against it that everyone needs to join in to spread and strengthen it. And that the realistic solution to this is revolution and people should check out the work and leadership of Bob Avakian (BA) and the RCP he leads. During this action, a Black woman came up to stand directly behind the Revcom agitator, who is white. “I’ve got your back,” she whispered to the agitator.

Along the march and in front of the stores, protesters, bystanders and thwarted shoppers reached for the flyer with the statement by Carl Dix, “Justice for Laquan McDonald—Send the Murdering Pig to Jail!” as well as palm cards with the statement by Bob Avakian on “There is the potential for something of unprecedented beauty to arise out of unspeakable ugliness...” This powerful action shows the potential for what BA addresses in his statement as well as the basis to go forward in building the mass movement to STOP police terror and murder.

The demonstration to bring Black Friday to a halt on Michigan Avenue brought together diverse forces coming from different political perspectives. Calls for the demonstration came from Jesse Jackson’s Operation PUSH, Black Lives Matter, Stop Mass Incarceration Network, the Chicago Revolution Club, BYP100, the National Alliance Against Racism and Political Repression, Arab American Action Network, several LGBT and religious groups, and more. Several prominent figures such as Congresspeople Bobby Rush and Danny Davis and activist priest Father Michael Pfleger, mayoral candidate "Chuy" Garcia, and former teachers' union head Karen Lewis all endorsed the demonstration and turned out to march. Some of those calling for the demonstration represent forces, including some in the Democratic Party, that have been in sharp conflict with Mayor Emmanuel. Many cite other police murders where no one is ever punished, the closing of 50 schools last year and the utter refusal to devote any resources to the impoverished Black communities. Mark Clements, a victim of Chicago police torture, was a powerful voice heard on a bullhorn urging people to stand firm and shut down business as usual. People brought their families, including kids in strollers.

Overall, there was a spirit of mass defiance against the system (however people understand that) along with a strong feeling of community among people who had not known each other before stepping forward to collectively shut down shopping as usual. People felt the importance of taking action to make a statement that murder by police cannot be tolerated.

Chicago police were present en masse but took a hands-off approach to the thousands of marchers and active closing of stores. The city announced the arrest of a suspect in the murder of a nine-year-old boy, which was supposedly a gang retaliation against the boy’s father. This story was run as a “counterpoint” on all the news to the demonstrations against the police murder and cover-up of the police murder of Laquan.

The demonstration impacted thousands and thousands who were there to witness it and many hundreds of thousands more through widespread media coverage. 

Some shoppers appeared annoyed but for the most part people seemed to understand what was happening. There were a small number who were aggressive about getting into a store, some who whined about their “right to shop” and a white teenager in tears because she could not get into Timberland. Black Friday draws shoppers from all over the Midwest as well as the whole world to the Magnificent Mile shopping area. The website relayed the reactions of a couple of would-be shoppers:

"It actually doesn't bother me," said Sterling Powers, who was stuck in traffic. She showed her solidarity, honking her horn to the rhythm of the protesters chants and giving the thumbs up out her window. "It's inconvienent for us in America all the time—African-American, Pan-African—it don't matter," said Powers, a Jamaican immigrant. "So we can be inconvenienced for a little bit for this."

Bonnie Pugh was on the Mag Mile visiting with her two kids from Columbus, Ohio. Her son asked her what people are doing. "Well, they shot a man 16 times and they're mad," she told her son. "I guess it's education for my kids," she said. "They've never seen anything like this." 





Revolution #414 November 23, 2015

A Reign of Terror Against Abortion Providers

November 28, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


To the extent that officials and the media have been giving a context to the horrific attack by the gunman at the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic, the attack has been portrayed as related to the climate created by a video distributed by anti-abortion Christian fascists who claim the video shows Planned Parenthood officials selling fetal tissue. This video was deceitfully doctored to misrepresent what Planned Parenthood officials said—as part of a massive societal attack on the right of women to choose whether or not to have a child. In the atmosphere whipped up by the distribution and promotion of this video by lunatic fringe anti-abortionists and the Republican Party, there have been stepped up direct violent attacks on Planned Parenthood. Since the summer of this year, five Planned Parenthood clinics have suffered such attacks.

But the larger context is that the horrific attack by the gunman at the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic is a continuation of a whole decades-long reign of terror that has targeted abortion clinics and abortion providers since the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion in the U.S. This offensive has included numerous assassinations, physical attacks on doctors and other clinic staff, arson and acid attacks that have severely damaged or forced the closure of clinics, and other violent assaults along with death threats. These terrorist attacks on abortion clinics and providers have been a part, and actually the cutting edge, of the whole offensive against abortion and all forms of birth control—along with and in synch with attacking and harassing patients, endless laws that have shut down clinic after clinic, and the society-wide stigmatization of abortion promoted from the highest levels of the power structure as part of a global war on women.

To give a sense of this: In the 1980s, the fascist Army of God came out with a “manual” showing how to harass, attack and even kill abortion providers and including instructions for making bombs. To be clear, this obscurantist, religious fundamentalist terrorist “army” was an American organization that identified its ideology as Christian and American values. This manual was distributed to anti-abortion activists throughout the country. One example of an action carried by these women-hating fanatics: In 1982, several Army of God members kidnapped Dr. Hector Zevallos, director of an abortion clinic in Granite City, Illinois, and his wife and held them for eight days, threatening to kill them unless Zevallos made an anti-abortion statement. In 1997 and 1998 there were a number of acid attacks on abortion providers, facilities, and clinic patients including at several clinics in Florida.

Before the attack at the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic, eight abortion providers—doctors, nurses, escorts, and other staff—had been murdered by anti-abortion fanatics. The most recent was the assassination of Dr. George Tiller in 2009 while he was participating in church services in Wichita, Kansas. Dr. Tiller had actually been shot once before by another anti-abortionist fanatic—at his Wichita clinic in 1993—and had survived. In that same year, two other abortion doctors were killed: Dr. David Gunn was murdered outside a Pensacola, Florida, clinic by a Christian fundamentalist who invoked the Bible as justification, and Dr. Wayne Patterson was killed in Mobile, Alabama. In the face of this—and the continued harassment at his clinic and home, death threats, and political/legal attacks—Dr. Tiller continued courageously to give compassionate care to thousands of women in need of the services his clinic provided, until his murder. In a shameful statement of acquiescence to Dr. Tiller’s killer and the forces behind his murder, no significant representative of the Democratic Party or liberal pro-choice groups associated with the Democrats attended his funeral.

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According to the National Abortion Federation, since Dr. Tiller’s murder in 2009, abortion clinics and reproductive health care facilities have reported nearly 7,000 attacks against them, including vandalism, death threats, and other forms of violence. In March 2013, for example, the All Families Healthcare, a clinic that provides abortions in Montana, was so severely vandalized that it was forced to close indefinitely.

These terrorist attacks have been carried out by those openly tied to or spurred on by Christian fascists, driven by their religious fundamentalist, anti-scientific belief that abortion is murder and that women who choose to terminate their pregnancies are committing a “sin” against god. But these deadly assaults have been given a green light by the patriarchal, anti-women rantings and moves against the right to abortion from forces high in the power structure, as well as the “legal but rare” position of the Democrats that has contributed to giving legitimacy to and emboldening of the Christian fascists and the demonization and stigmatization of abortion and abortion providers. And this continues today, when abortion clinics across the U.S. are under ever more vicious assaults from Christian fascists as well as from new laws and court rulings.